KAREN RUTTER reviews

HEREDITARY. Directed by Ari Aster, with Tony Collette, Gabriel Byrne, and Alex Wolff.

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Hereditary is one helluva horror movie, about a family fighting back against their terrifying ancestry. It all kicks off when Granny Graham kicks the bucket, and her daughter starts to discover some pretty sick secrets about her past. Unfortunately, it would seem that whatever happened back in the day is fated to be repeated in the present. And the future doesn’t look at rosy at all …

Toni Collette is simply superb as a daughter and mother trying to hold her family together in the face of inevitable evil, it’s nice to see Gabriel Byrne in a different sort of role. The film has been described as “an Exorcist for a new generation”, and certainly in terms of its fear factor – fair play.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 6: FALLOUT. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, with Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill and Ving Rhames.

The usual suspects are back in this sixth episode of the MI franchise, with a few notable additions including Angela Basset and Vanessa Kirby.  Does the plot really matter? Well, just in case you want to know, Ethan Hunt and his team must track down a consignment of plutonium that goes missing, while being monitored by a CIA agent after an initial mission goes wrong. What we’re all really looking out for here are the ridiculous stunts, which seem to get more daring with each movie – and which we are repeatedly reminded are authentic, with Cruise doing almost all of his own work. He drives his own helicopter!!! Cruise has been described as being “implausibly well-preserved and pneumatic”, which I am not sure is a compliment but which does kind of sum up his contribution to the Mission Impossible series. It’s not Bond – but it’s fun.

SKYSCRAPER. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, with Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell and Chin Han.

Warning: If you suffer from vertigo – if your stomach starts spinning if you so much as glimpse a Youtube clip on rooftop parkour – then don’t watch this one. As the title suggests, it’s all about a very tall building. And, taken that Wayne “The Rock” Johnson is the lead, you might guess it’s going to involve a lot of action in and around said building. Which is exactly what happens. Johnson plays a security expert who has to rescue his family who’re trapped in a 225-storey mega-scraper which is on fire. Oh, plus there are a herd of heavies who want to wipe him and his family out. And he only has one leg. Despite the eye-rolling premise, the movie actually proves quite entertaining, from a mindless action-adventure POV.

  MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN. Directed by Ol Parker, with Lily James, Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep.

Following on from the first, fabulous Mamma Mia! released in 2008, MM: Here We Go Again features a return to the Greek island of Kalokairi, where the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna is the catalyst for a trip down memory lane. The past and the present eventually come together in a series of swirling song-and-dance routines, and all is well once again on the Aegean. Not quite sure if it was entirely necessary to have this re-hash, but hey – any excuse for an Abba medley.

OCEAN’S 8. Directed by Gary Ross, with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.

Like Ocean’s 11 (and 12, etc) but without the blokes. Debbie Ocean (Bullock) is planning the heist of her life – $150 million dollars in diamonds. And to get them, she’s got to get to world-famous actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), who will be wearing them centre stage at the event of the year, the Met Gala. Debbie assembles a team, as one does: partner-in-crime Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett); jeweller Amita (Kaling); street con Constance (Awkwafina); expert fence Tammy (Paulson); hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna); and fashion designer Rose (Bonham Carter). And so the hi-jinx begin. Ocean’s 8 is smooth, and easy-on-the-eye, and not a hardship to watch.

WS