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  • Midnight Special

    Midnight Special

    ★★★★

    In the wake of Stranger Things there's been a wave of 80's retro Spielberg/Stephen King/X-Files styled faux-nostalgia pieces. The problem with most of these is that they don't have any ideas of their own, they're just cashing in on a trend. But Midnight Special is not a part of this wave. It came out right before Stranger Things, back when it was still cool to tell your own story on your own premises with your own ideas, with the retro flare as one stylistic element out of many. It's understated and ambiguous. I love to watch Bill Camp lurking.

  • Unlawful Entry

    Unlawful Entry

    ★★

    I have a nostalgic heart for this genre - the early-90's sleazy (sometimes erotic) thriller. They were a big deal when I was a pubescent kid. There were so many of them back then, the video store shelves were full of them, and thinking back, they were so alike as to be mostly interchangeable.

    Unlawful Entry is just another one of these. It does have a few performances that stand out: Ray Liotta is huge fun as the psycho cop-cum-stalker,…

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  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    ★★★★½

    This taut 70s thriller is a masterclass in building tension, the ticking clock, amping the stakes. It's also a story full of small things, memorable details and quirky characterization, which makes it a rich ensemble piece. Like the telephone bickering between hijacker Robert Shaw and negotiator Walter Matthau - often imitated but never equalled. But the best part comes when the main story's over, we've left the subway and the dust has settled and... Those very last moments. Matthau's face.

  • Red Eye

    Red Eye

    ★★

    Wes Craven's post-Scream output is not exactly the creative peak of his career, but Red Eye shows us that at least he got up in the morning and went to work. It's a strong high-concept story with some genuinely suspenseful sequences. It's made by a director who knows what he's doing - he keeps pushing forward.

    What drags it down is the lacklustre production - it feels like no one cared much about this. The cinematography looks like it's shot…