THE latest DVD and downloads


(Cert 15, 124 mins. DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)

MINIATURIST artist Annie Graham (Toni Collette) is deeply affected by the death of her estranged mother, who cast a long shadow over the family and took Annie's daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) under her wing.

Following the secretive matriarch's funeral, Annie senses a presence in the family home and her erratic behaviour causes grave concern for husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) and teenage son Peter (Alex Wolff).

In desperation, Annie turns to a grief support group where she meets a local woman called Joan (Ann Dowd), who has suffered a recent loss.

Joan sweetly encourages Annie to conduct a seance and connect to her mother's lingering spirit.

As the disturbances within the Graham house increase in frequency, Annie makes a bold decision that has terrifying repercussions.

Hereditary slowly tightens a knot of discomfort, heightened by a bravura lead performance from Collette, who turns silent screams into an art form.

Writer-director Ari Aster's twisted family portrait performs a cinematic striptease, holding our gaze (even when we want to look away) by peeling away the layers of darkness and deceit that condemn one grief-stricken family to a grim fate.

It's a masterclass in terror titillation, choreographed to a discomfiting orchestral score by composer Colin Stetson and unsettling sound effects like a teenage girl repeatedly clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth.

Like all stripteases, Aster's horror thriller ultimately has to bare all, and when the film performs its big reveal - with a flourish - we realise we have seen this story many times before.

The Happy Prince***

(Cert 15, 105 mins. DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)

FOLLOWING his release from Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) is on the brink of financial ruin.

His ex-wife Constance (Emily Watson) grants him a small allowance on the understanding that he will sever all ties to Lord Alfred Douglas aka Bosie (Colin Morgan).

However, Wilde cannot resist his self-serving paramour and his income is thus withheld.

Good friends Reggie Turner (Colin Firth) and Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas) try in vain to keep their pal out of the gutter, staring up at twinkling stars, but passions outwit Wilde's common sense and he sinks into a mire of misery.

Racked with illness, the playwright seeks refuge with two resourceful street waifs but death lurks in the corner of every dank room and as an inglorious end beckons.

Taking its title from a short story for children, The Happy Prince wades artfully through the despair of Wilde's exile, interspersed with pungent flashbacks including his transfer to Reading Gaol by train when jeering passengers spat in his face.

Everett's anguished features haunt almost every frame and his deep emotional connection to Wilde is evident in a compelling, nuanced performance that doesn't shy away from the self-destructive impulses that led the writer to his grave during a tumultuous exile in France at the turn of the 20th century.

There are strong supporting performances from Thomas and Morgan as competing forces for Wilde's affections.

The script is peppered with bon mots that hint at the dying genius of a man, whose great sin was to be afflicted by "the love that dare not speak its name".

Super Troopers 2*

(Cert 15, 94 mins)

DISBANDED Vermont state troopers Farva (Kevin Heffernan), Foster (Paul Soter), Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) and Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar) receive invitations to a fishing weekend with their former boss, Captain John O'Hagan (Brian Cox).

The get-together is a ruse to reunite Farva, Foster, Mac, Rabbit and Thorny for a face-to-face meeting with Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter).

She discloses that a land survey has uncovered errors in the boundary markings between Canada and America.

An area of land including the French-Canadian town St Georges du Laurent will be reclassified as US territory and Jessman needs a small team to replace the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in advance of a handover.

"Vermont's about to get a little more head room," jokes the governor.

Farva, Foster, Mac, Rabbit and Thorny meet fierce resistance from the town's bouffant mayor, Guy Le Franc (Rob Lowe) and local Mounties.

Thankfully, bilingual cultural attache Genevieve Aubois (Emmanuelle Chriqui) oils the wheels of diplomacy.

Super Troopers 2 is a belated sequel to a goofy 2001 comedy, which splutters from one puerile and ridiculous interlude to the next.

Jay Chandrasekhar's picture is a miserable excuse for entertainment, which repeatedly pokes fun at the cultural divide between America and Canada without any obvious purpose or punchlines to hit a target.

The script parades crude humour and xenophobia in a desperate search for just one laugh and Thorny's addiction to female hormone pills, which make him lactate, would have been past its use-by date in the 1980s.

Damon Smith