Rental Central

Tom Doty Times Columnist

November 1, 2013

One treat for the kids and three thrillers all featured monsters in this week’s releases.

“Monster’s University” — This sequel to the popular Pixar flick, “Monsters Inc.,” shows how Mike and Sully met at college. It’s not love at first sight. Mike is considered a joke while Sully struts around like a football hero on a full scholarship. Eventually, they are forced to work together, when they are put on the same team for an offbeat scare competition, and the pair learn how to work together and with their fellow misfits. Fun stuff that finds creative ways to dovetail with the original film while telling a new story. John Goodman and Billy Crystal haven’t lost a beat and are joined by Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren and Alfred Molina.

“R.I.P.D.” — Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges star in this genre bender that sees a resurrected cop joining an undead squad and pursuing his killer. Think buddy cop movie, with zombies. Fun stuff that was adapted from a frenetic comic book series from Dark Horse Comics.

“Byzantium” — Old-time scares mix with graphic bloodletting in this creepfest from Neil Jordan (“In the Company of Wolves”). The story finds two young women showing up at an isolated coastal village. Pretty soon, they are the talk of the town, but the scares start when you realize it is the town that is in trouble now, because these women have a secret and it is a doozy. Atmospheric thrills from an excellent director who knows how to pile on the scares and the atmosphere.

“All Hallow’s Eve” — A young woman takes a babysitting gig on Halloween night, with predictable results, in this low-budget shocker. She pops in a videotape and starts squirming when eerie horror shorts begin getting under her skin. The flicks feature a creepy clown and each flick stirs up enough scares to get him closer to crossing over into our reality from his video prison. This is like “VHS” meets “Killjoy.” It won’t stay in your mind long, but it also won’t rot your teeth.