Recent summers have produced a handful of lower budget horror and sci-fi hits and this year there are a number of potentially scary movies, several of them from international directors.

The Screen Gems label of horror expert Sony opens Vacancy, with Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a couple staying at an isolated motel, on April 20 in the US. SPRI, however, will roll out the film - on which Control director Nimrod Antal makes his US debut - in May, June and July internationally.

SPRIalso has rights for most international markets to writer-director Eli Roth's Hostel: Part II, which Lionsgate releases in the US on June 8. The first film, released in January last year, was a hit for Lionsgate, grossing $47.3m domestically and $43.2m internationally.

Plucky zombies take on Spidey
Another gore auteur, writer-director Rob Zombie, is behind Halloween, a re-imagining of the seminal horror property, to be released in the US by Dimension Films on August 31. The most recent instalment of the franchise, Halloween: Resurrection, made $30.3m domestically and $7.3m internationally in summer 2002.

Sci-fi fans will be able to start the summer with Fox's 28 Weeks Later, which pluckily opens in the US on May 11, the weekend after Spider-Man 3. This sequel to British director Danny Boyle's zombie virus tale 28 Days Later - which made $45m domestically and $37.6m internationally in summer 2003 - is directed by Spain's Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto).

Warner's The Invasion, opening on August 17 in the US, has Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in another version of aliens-among-us novel The Body Snatchers, this version directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) and produced by Joel Silver.