A Quiet Place, Film 4, 9pm

One of the most inventive horror films for many a moon was directed and co-written by John Krasinski, star of the US version of The Office and the TV take on Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Krasinksi also appears in one of the lead roles here, alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt. They play Lee and Evelyn Abbott who are battling to keep themselves and their children alive in terrifying circumstances: most of the world’s population has been wiped out by carnivorous blind creatures that are hypersensitive to noise, a trait which allows them to hone in on potential victims at super-fast speed. Matters come to a head for the Abbotts when pregnant Evelyn goes into labour while alone at the deserted house they now call home. Noah Jupe, the young British star who recently appeared in The Undoing, also stars. A sequel is set to be released later this year.


Quatermass And The Pit, Talking Pictures, 8.10pm

This futuristic 1967 chiller was produced by the legendary Hammer Films, who back then had been responsible for 10 years of blood-curdling movies. By the late 1960s, however, the studio was struggling to match the quality of their earlier output and so returned to Quatermass, tales which had first appeared as a TV series in the early 1950s. This time, builders working on a London Underground extension unearth an ancient Martian spaceship containing the remains of insect-like aliens – a discovery which unleashes terrifying primeval forces. More than 50 years since its cinema release, this is still an edge-of-your-seat project which has a huge cult following thanks in no small part to the script by Nigel Kneale, the unsung scriptwriter now hailed as a genius by the likes of Mark Gatiss. What’s also interesting is that for once Hammer did away with their trademark blood and gore, and opted for a more thoughtful approach to the subject. The film is all the better for it. Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley and Julian Glover star.


Bugsy, Sony Movies Action, 9pm

Warren Beatty finally settled down and married Annette Bening after they starred in Barry Levinson’s elegant fact-based 1991 thriller depicting the life of New York gangster Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel. Bugsy (Beatty) is sent to Los Angeles to take over the West Coast rackets, where he falls in love with a glamorous starlet (Bening). The film then centres on the gangster’s business venture to turn Las Vegas into a gamblers’ paradise. Beatty, who so often relied on his good looks and charm to breeze his way through films in the early part of his career, is charismatically dangerous as the renowned criminal, and fully deserved his Best Actor Oscar nomination. There’s also some good support from the likes of Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley.


Tremors, ITV4, 10.55pm

Remember those 1950s B-movies where alien invaders land in small American towns and proceed to wreak havoc? This entertaining cult sci-fi spoof from director Ron Underwood affectionately sends up the likes of It Came From Out Of Space and Them. It also features some low-brow but effective special effects and a fantastic plot. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward star as two handymen stranded in the desert who become targets for a family of giant sandworms. Yes it’s silly, and yes it’s tacky – most of the movie is played for laughs, rather than thrills – but some genuinely exciting moments help the story along. For once, Bacon lives up to his name: he hams it up for all he’s worth. The film has been followed by various sequels, but none match up to the original. And if you like what you see, check out Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide To Tremors, a loving homage by Edinburgh-based film writer Jonathan Melville.


Film of the week

We Are The Best!, Channel 4, Friday, 1.05am

You may need to set the recorder for this Friday late-night offering, but it’s an absolute gem so well worth the effort. Directed by Swedish auteur Lukas Moodysson, it’s set in Stockholm in 1982 and covers a few months in the lives of 13-year-old friends Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin), school outcasts whose love for punk rock has made them a laughing-stock among classmates who lean more towards the Human League or heavy metal. It’s based on the graphic novel Never Goodnight by Moodysson’s wife Coco, which charts her own background as a young punk in 1980s Sweden.

When local rock group Iron Fist are rude to them at the local youth club, Klara and Bobo demand they be given a chance to use the club’s equipment and so a band is born. The girls can’t play (“Does it use chords?” Bobo asks as she peers at the drum kit) and they only ever manage to write one song (Hate The Sport!, with the winning line: “People are in the morgue/You’re watching Bjorn Borg”). But as anyone who has ever been in a band knows, it’s the coming together to make an unholy racket that really counts. And boy, do Bobo and Klara make a racket.

Things take a turn for the vaguely competent when they hook up with another outcast, demure Christian girl Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), who just happens to be a whizz on the guitar. Soon their drums and bass combo has a lead guitarist and a place on the bill at Santa Rocks, a music competition to be held in nearby Vasteras. Think School Of Rock, then don’t, then think instead of that scene in The Blues Brothers where the boys perform behind chicken wire for a bunch of beer bottle-throwing rednecks. But worse.

In keeping with its subject matter, there’s a strong punk ethos driving Moodysson’s terrific film. Shot in a free-wheeling style using hand-held cameras, it uses dialogue he improvised with his young leads prior to letting them loose in a scene. The results are electrifying as Grosin and Barkhammar spark off each other in that naturalistic way teenagers do when there are no adults watching. Great stuff.

And one to stream …

Space Sweepers, Netflix


Pic: Park Ye-rin as Dorothy in sci-fi hit Space Sweepers

If you’ve felt recently that all you need to make life complete is a South Korean space opera about interstellar bin collectors cooing over a cute-as-a-button kid while kicking lumps out of bad guys then sit back and enjoy this one. Everybody else is: Space Sweepers debuted at number one in the Netflix movie chart, a cause of much celebration in its homeland where it’s being billed as the first South Korean sci-fi blockbuster.

Directed by Jo Sung-hee, it features an international supporting cast though its leads are all homegrown. Chief among them are Kim Tae-ri, star of Park Chan-wook’s Palme d’Or-nominated hit The Handmaiden, and veteran South Korean actor Yoo Hae-jin, who voices a gender-conflicted robot known as Bubs which transitions as the film progresses. Also shoehorned into the film’s hefty 136 minute running time are pointed political and social commentaries, and some pretty weight environmental themes: earth is polluted, a lucky few have ascended to a space-borne Eden, everyone else is regarded as a non-citizen to be used, abused and economically exploited.

Like all good action films Space Sweepers starts with a chase and a fight. This one involves the salvage ship Victory, one of an unruly fleet of space-going vessels which harpoon and isolate passing space junk in return for a finder’s fee. Typically this procedure leaves the crew even deeper in debt as kick-ass Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri) is prone to being fined for damaging the space property of corporate behemoth UTS, headed by 157-year-old corporate titan James Sullivan (Richard Armitage).

One day Jang, Bubs and the rest of the motley crew of non-citizens and outcasts – dreadlocked former gang leader Tiger Park (Jin Seon-ku) and disgraced former Space Guard Tae-ho (Song Joong-ki) – find a young girl (Park Ye-rin) alive in a space wreck. They quickly realise they have something to leverage. Although she calls herself Kot-nim, she is also known as Dorothy and according to UTS she’s a walking weapon of mass destruction which must be returned at all costs. That cost, as far as the crew of the Victory is concerned, is two million of whatever passes for currency in space in 2092.

Blending elements of WALL-E, Blade Runner and anime favourite Cowboy Bebop, Space Sweepers is a buccaneering cyber-punk romp that delivers twists, thrills and laughs aplenty.