New to watch: Relic, The Mandalorian, Love & Anarchy, Black Monday, His House, Truth Seekers...
RELIC (Cert 15, 89 mins, Signature Entertainment, Horror/Thriller, available from October 30 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/Curzon Home Cinema/Google Play/iTunes/Microsoft Store/Rakuten TV/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store/Virgin Media)
KAY (Emily Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) travel to the secluded home of Kay’s mother Edna (Robyn Nevin). They find the house deserted.
Concerned about Edna’s welfare, Katy contacts local police and a search party scours woods surrounding the property. After three agonising days without news, Edna materialises, to everyone’s relief.
Next-door neighbour Alex (Jeremy Stanford) and his son Jamie (Chris Bunton) share a disturbing story about Edna’s faltering memory and Kay reluctantly considers moving her mother to a retirement home in Melbourne where she can be closely monitored.
Meanwhile, Sam senses something malignant festering inside the family home and, in the pocket of a cardigan, she discovers a cryptic hand-written note that reads “Don’t follow it”.
Set predominantly inside Edna’s creaking, mouldy home, Relic is a contemporary horror thriller which uses well-worn genre tropes to explore universal dread: children watching a parent’s mental health deteriorate to the point they must relinquish their independence.
Writer-director Natalie Erika James delivers an assured debut feature, which steadily cranks up tension by roaming down darkened corridors in a house that sounds ominously like it is breathing.
Australian actress Nevin illuminates her role as a woman in the grip of dementia. Mortimer and Heathcote, sporting solid accents, try to turn away from the horror unfolding before them but, like us, they cannot avert their eyes.
BLACK WATER: ABYSS (Cert 15, 98 mins, Altitude Film Distribution, Horror/Thriller/Romance, available from November 2 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from November 2 on DVD £15.99)
GUNG-HO thrill-seeker Eric (Luke Mitchell) and his level-headed girlfriend Jennifer (Jessica McNamee) invite good friends Yolanda (Amali Golden) and Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes) to join them on an expedition to a remote, uncharted cave system.
The plucky quartet are joined by Eric’s friend Cash (Anthony J Sharpe), who stumbled upon the cave while searching for missing Japanese trekkers.
A tropical storm blows in from the north shortly after the group abseil into the mouth of the cave and stumble upon a subterranean lake.
As rain lashes down, a nearby river floods its banks and Eric, Jennifer, Yolanda, Viktor and Cash are trapped below ground with at least one flesh-hungry crocodile.
Black Water: Abyss is a bloodthirsty, waterlogged horror, which has the misfortune of surfacing in the wake of yesteryear’s infinitely superior woman-versus-alligator nail-biter, Crawl.
Set in the lush forests of northern Australia, director Andrew Traucki’s survival thriller splish-splashes through confidently staged set-pieces.
McNamee and Golden are spunky damsels in deluged distress, who cope well with the gruelling physical demands of their underwritten roles.
HIS HOUSE (Cert 15, 93 mins, streaming from October 30 exclusively on Netflix, Horror/Thriller/Romance)
BRITISH writer-director Remi Weekes makes an assured feature debut with a tightly wound horror thriller set in an unnamed English town, which harbours murderous secrets.
Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) escape war-torn South Sudan in the hope of a stable future far from the conflict.
They risk their lives on a perilous night-time boat crossing, which culminates in heartbreak and despair.
The couple are taken to a detention centre and are eventually allocated a home to call their own.
Bol and Rial slowly transform the rundown and dirty property into a sanctuary.
However, the peace and security they crave is supplanted by fear because the refugees are convinced that they are not alone in the house.
THE MANDALORIAN – SEASON 2 (8 episodes, starts streaming from October 30 exclusively on Disney+, Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure)
A LONG time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Disney+ streaming service launched in the UK with eight-part sci-fi western The Mandalorian, which charts the escapades of bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.
The eagerly anticipated second series debuts this week, expanding the Star Wars universe as The Mandalorian and his cute companion, the Child, continue their perilous odyssey.
According to the Armourer (Emily Swallow), the Child must be reunited with his own kind via an ancient order of sorcerers called the Jedi.
En route, The Mandalorian will be reunited with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), leader of the guild of bounty hunters, and gung-ho mercenary Cara Dune (Gina Carano).
New episodes will be released each week.
TRUTH SEEKERS (8 episodes, streaming from October 30 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Horror/Comedy)
FILMED on location in the south of England, Truth Seekers draws inspiration from Fortean Times and Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World to explore ghostly goings-on through the eyes of a ragtag bunch of misfits.
Gus Roberts (Nick Frost) is a keen investigator of the paranormal, who funds his hobby by working as an installation engineer for Britain’s biggest mobile network operator, SMYLE.
His boss, Dave (Simon Pegg), pairs Gus up with a new recruit called Elton (Samson Kayo). On their first job, the workmates stumble upon a real-life haunting.
Subsequently, Gus and Elton remedy broadband connection problems at the only horror-themed hotel on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and assist a young woman called Astrid (Emma D’Arcy), who believes that she is being chased by ghosts.
BLACK MONDAY – SEASON 2 (10 episodes, starts streaming from November 3 exclusively on NOW TV, Comedy/Drama/Romance)
CREATED by Jordan Cahan and David Caspe, Black Monday is a dark comedy set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market crash, which sent shockwaves through major industrial countries and threatened a sustained period of economic instability.
A second salvo of 10 episodes begins this week on Sky Comedy and streams exclusively on NOW TV.
Veteran stockbroker Maurice Monroe (Don Cheadle) abandons his moral compass to achieve record profits.
Colleagues Blair Pfaff (Andrew Rannells) and Dawn Darcy (Regina Hall) aggressively pursue new deals from different directions, while Keith Shankar (Paul Scheer) finds himself in a difficult position.
Elsewhere, pampered heiress Tiffany Georgina (Casey Wilson) looks for a new home with Blair and Dawn faces an ethical dilemma to land a new client.
SUBURRA: BLOOD ON ROME – SEASON 3 (8 episodes, streaming from October 30 exclusively on Netflix, Thriller)
ORGANISED crime and the Church collide in the concluding episodes of the Italian crime saga inspired by Giancarlo De Cataldo and Carlo Bonini’s novel Suburra, which was adapted into a film.
At the end of the second series, Lele (Eduardo Valdarnini) repented his sins with a gun to his head while closeted gang member Alberto (Giacomo Ferrara) made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the secret of his sexuality and retain control of his empire.
In these instalments, Alberto and Aureliano (Alessandro Borghi) face a revitalised threat from political beast Amadeo Cinaglia (Filippo Nigro) and Roman kingpin Samurai (Francesco Acquaroli).
Meanwhile, Alberto’s older brother Manfredi (Adamo Dionisi) wakes from his coma, throwing into doubt the balance of power in the Sinta crime gang.
LOVE & ANARCHY (8 episodes, streaming from November 4 exclusively on Netflix, Comedy/Drama/Romance)
SWEDISH writer-director Lisa Langseth is the creative dynamo behind this eight-part comedy drama, which engineers a workplace battle of the sexes that quickly spirals out of control.
Married mother-of-two Sofie (Ida Engvoll) is a successful consultant, who manages to juggle professional ambitions with her responsibilities as a parent.
She is hired to modernise an old publishing house, which is struggling to move with the multimedia times.
Sofie meets IT wizard Max (Bjorn Mosten) and he initiates a game of flirting to push the consultant out of her comfort zone.
They secretly challenge each other to complete tasks, which go against the grain of societal norms.
As these tests become increasingly serious, Sofie and Max face potentially devastating consequences of their playful actions.