Out in cinemas this week: Two very strange creatures: a dead dog and an alien who looks like one.
After a series of overblown Hollywood movies that in some ways have been a poor match for his fundamental wordview, Tim Burton attempts a revival by a return to his own origins. Not only is he more in his element working in a more compact arena, but by making a genuine children's movie with a horror edge he's more in his mileu than in most of his candy-coated Johnny Depp fantasy or pseudohorror extravaganzas.
The story: When young Victor's pet dog Sparky (who stars in Victor's home-made monster movies) is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked "monster" wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor's neighbors, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky's still the good loyal friend he's always been.
Starring: Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Winona Ryder.
Directed by: Tim Burton.
It's back, and worth seeing on the big screen no matter how many times you've seen it at home.
The story: Elliot befriends a lost alien and tries to help him phone home.
Starring: Dee Wallace (Mary), Henry Thomas (Elliott), Peter Coyote (Keys), Robert MacNaughton (Michael), Drew Barrymore (Gertie).
Directed by: Steven Spielberg.