HUNTER KILLER (12A) ★★★★★ WHEN mankind stands forlornly on the brink of annihilation, Paisley-born action hero Gerard Butler proudly steps forward to shepherd every man, woman and child back from the abyss.
In the underwater thriller Hunter Killer, a rogue Russian admiral prepares to push the button on a third world war and Butler sails to our rescue as a renegade submarine captain.
Director Donovan Marsh charts a familiar course through breathless action sequences and threats of mutiny. Butler is steadfast as chaos unfolds around him and Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist makes one of his final appearances before his death from lung cancer as a stoic Russian submarine captain. HALLOWEEN (18) ★★★★★ THE boogeyman does exist and for decades, he has taken the terrifying form of masked maniac Michael Myers in a series of blood-drenched thrillers, which began with John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 slasher Halloween.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their roles as ultimate survivor Laurie Strode and Michael for a climactic showdown that will appease fans of the series, set to the chilling strains of Carpenter’s repetitive synthesiser score.
“What are we gonna do? Cancel Halloween?” despairs a sheriff (Omar Dorsey), who is on the trail of the knife-wielding maniac.
Thankfully not, otherwise audiences would be denied one of the stronger instalments of the long-running series. GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN (PG)
★★★★★ TERROR creeps up when you least expect it.
I felt its icy fingers slither down my back about 20 minutes into Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween: the sequel to the 2015 familyfriendly horror comedy based on the book series by R. L. Stine. My heart skipped a beat as a rasping voice echoed in the darkness of the cinema: “This film has been raised from the dead solely with box office takings in mind.”
The first Goosebumps was laden with tricks and treats including tour-de-force comic performances from Jack Black as author Stine and the voice of a demented puppet called Slappy, who unleashes monsters from one of Stine’s books on the unsuspecting students of Madison High School. Alas, Black is largely absent from Ari Sandel’s laboured follow-up, which unravels quicker than a mummy’s bandages in the fictional town of Wardenclyffe.
From left, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris
Jamie Lee Curtis