The Daimajin Trilogy (1966, Arrow, 3 Blu-ray, NR, 250 min.). No, Majin is not a heavy metal rock ‘n’ roller, he literally is a stone warrior, worshipped by Japanese peasants who pray to him in bad times and whom he invariably helps in the effects-laden final half-hour of each film. The limited series of three films, all made within one year, transplants the animated anthropomorphic Golem legend of Jewish folklore – usually made of clay or mud – to the Japan of the late 16th century. Each of the three films has the same basic plot, but each oppressor is different, as they are, in order, a usurper, an invader and an exploiter. There was a different director for each film, but the crew and special effects were by the same people.

Reviews of each film follows.

“Daimajin” (83 min., 3.5 stars) opens with a giant eye closeup. Earthquakes make the villagers think the Mountain Majin is moving, so they head off with torches and start the prayer ritual, which includes dancing. At the nearby Yamanaka Castle, Gunjiro (Tatsuo Endo) helps Samanosuke (Ryutaro Gami) stage a coup against Lord Hanabusa; however, Kogenta (Jun Fujimaki) helps the lord’s two young children – Kozasa and her brother Tadafumi – escape to the mountain, where they hide for 10 years in a cave dedicated to Majin.

Jumping forward the 10 years, we find the villagers used as slaves. Tadafumi (Yoshihiko Aoyama of three Zatoichi films), now 18, wants to take action against the usurpers, but Kogenta urges continued caution. However, when Kogenta is foraging for food, he is recognized by Gunjiro and captured.

The big reveal comes 68 minutes into the film, when the statue bleeds, a storm strikes and the mountainside collapses. The giant Majin statue, come to life, stately marches, destroying everything. Meanwhile, Tadafumi rescues Kogenta. The director was Kimiyoshi Yasuda (“Yokai Monsters,” “Zatoichi on the Road”).

Extras include audio commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV; a new introduction by Ken Newman, who discusses all three films (15:230); a new visual essay by Japanese film historian Ed Godziszewski on the special effects by Yoshiyuiki Kuroda (“Flight from Ashiya”) and the creature made of five parts (17:11); the alternate English opening credits, where it was known as “Majin, the Monster of Terror,” in either 2.35 or 1.33 ratios (56 secs. each); and an image gallery.

“Return of Daimajin” (79 min., 3 stars) sees the slaves of mountainous Mikoshiba fleeing their land, some hoping for a better life in the more prosperous villages of Nagoshi and Chigusa, each on opposite sides of Lake Yaguma. However, Lord Danjo of Mikoshiba wants to take over the other two villages and he uses a Trojan horse-like offering to invade Nagoshi.

In this film, the stone warrior god is located on an island, where Lady Sayuri (Shiho Fujimura) plans to sacrifice herself after the invasion. However, some of the invaders arrive at the island and blew up the statue. Nonetheless, Majin rises from the lake, head first, to wipe out the invaders, with a homage to the parting of the Red Sea (as in “The Ten Commandments”) along the way. Lord Juro of Chigusa (Kojiro Hongo), whom Lord Yaguma wants to capture and kill, finally shows up and attempts to rescue Lady Sayuri, who is about to be burned on a cross.

The film pretty much is a rehash of the first one, although it benefits from the lake settings. The director was Kenji Misumi (“Tale of Zatoichi,” “Lone Wolf and Cub”).

Extras include audio commentary by Japanese film experts Jasper Sharp and Tom Mes; and a new interview (33:45) with Prof. Yoneo Ota, director of the Toy Film Museum, Kyoto Film Art Culture Research Institute, about the production of the Daimajin films at Daiei Kyoto film studios, which was facing bankruptcy at the time (the studio also made the “Gamara” films). As part of a summer job, Ota carried equipment for the camera crew making the “Daimajin” films. There also are storyboard comparisons of key scenes (3:54); an image gallery; and alternate U.S. opening credits, where it was released as “Return of Giant Majin,” in both 2.35 and 1.33 ratios (56 secs. each).

“The Wrath of Daimajin” (87 min., 3.25 stars) is much different as the action revolves around four children who go over Majin’s Mountain to help their relatives who have been enslaved by Lord Arwaka in Hell’s Valley and forced to build the site from which he plans to launch an invasion of the neighboring clans. The Hell’s Valley name comes from the boiling sulphur pits there. An old lady warns the children to turn back, but they wait until she leaves and trod ahead.

Three of Lord Arwaka’s soldiers have been sent up the mountain to search for the one logger who had escaped, and much of the film is the three soldiers chasing the children on the mountain. Majin, of course, arises to save the day and the ending is quite good, with Majin facing rifles and cannons this time. The director was Kazuo Mori (“Vendetta of a Samurai”).

Extras include audio commentary by Asian historian Jonathan Clements; a lengthy interview with cinematographer Fujio Morita on his career at Daiei and his work on the three films, including special effects which he goes through at an editing console (87 min.); and an image gallery. The limited edition box set also comes with an illustrated 100-page book with new essays by Clements, Keith Aiken, Godziszewski, Raffael Coronelli, Erik Homenick, Robin Gatto and Kevin Derendorf, as well as postcards featuring the original Japanese art for all three films. Grade: overall films 3.25 stars; extras 4 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Warner Bros., Blu-ray or DVD, R, 112 min.). The third “Conjuring” film, and the eighth overall in the Conjuring Universe, ditches the haunted house scenarios of the first two films for more of a murder mystery and, along with that, most of the scares. Although why anyone would follow a scary-looking John Noble, whose character’s house is filled with icky things, down into a poorly-lit basement, is a scary enough thought.

The film, based on a true 1981 story, also pushes Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) into the background more – the demon they initially encounter during the attempted exorcism of an 8-year-old boy gives Ed a heart attack – and moves most of the action to be initiated by wife Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga).

The boy (Julian Hilliard as David Glatzel) is saved when Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), the good-hearted boyfriend of David’s sister (Sarah Catharine Hook as Debbie), invites the demon to take him instead. By the way, the contortionist who plays David in the scene is very effective. Ed realizes what has happened, but he does not recover consciousness until it is too late – the demon already has made Arne commit murder, stabbing his victim 22 times. As the Warrens continue to investigate, they realize Arne is no longer possessed – at least at the moment – and therefore it must be a curse. The paranormal investigators do convince Arne’s attorney to enter a plea of “Not guilty by reason of demonic possession,” the first time such a plea had been entered in U.S. history. (Apparently it had been tried twice, unsuccessfully, in England.

Lorraine has managed to get a glimpse of The Occultist (Eugenie Bondurant), when she initially touched David, leading her to believe the woman may be the cause of the curse. Meanwhile, the Warrens’ researcher uncovers a similar recent murder not that far away. Traveling to Danvers, Mass., Lorraine helps solve the mystery of a missing girl, associated with the murder there.

Noble (TV’s “Elementary,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Fringe”) plays former priest Kastner, who has investigated demon- and devil-oriented paranormal artifacts for decades and has filled his basement with them.

The film has too many nods to “The Exorcist,” including a blatant one in which the priest stands by a streetlight with his suitcase in hand outside of the Glatzel home. The film lacks the scares of the original “The Conjuring,” which was directed by James Wan, who only produces and co-author’s the story here, but there is some nice camerawork by cinematographer Michael Burgess. The film is directed by Michael Chaves (“The Curse of La Llorona”), with a script by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (“Orphan,” “Aquaman”), based on a story by Wan and Johnson-McGoldrick.

The best of the extras is a video comic, “The Conjuring: The Lovers #1,” which tells the backstory of Jessica, one of those involved with the Danvers murder (12:51). It comes with three joke ads, plus “The Ferryman” short. Extras solely on the film include a look at The Occultist (4:03), a featurette on the case that includes interviews with the real Debbie and Arne Johnson (5:24), and a look at the film’s fears, including the work of the contortionist (5:47). Grade: film 2.5 stars; extras 2 stars

Friday the 13th: 8 Movie Collection (1980-89, Paramount, 6 Blu-rays, R). This set of the eight “Friday the 13th” films includes remastered versions of the first four films: “Friday the 13th”; “Friday the 13th, Part II”; “Friday the 13th, Part III”; and “Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter.” Of course, it was not the final chapter as it was followed by “Friday the 13th, Part 5: A New Beginning,” “Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives,” “Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood” and “Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.”

The terror all begins at Camp Crystal Lake, when a group of counselors ignore a wilderness camp’s “death curse,” as years before, a young boy named Jason Voorhees drowned, followed by a series of vicious murders. Bloody carnage follows in each successive film, until Jason eventually arrives in Manhattan. The series is one of the most successful and effective horror series of all time. Each film carries over the special features from its previous release. Grade: collection 3.75 stars

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Sony Pictures, PG, 93 min.). Turning away from horror to a couple of family films, first up is this delightful and funny “Peter Rabbit” follow-up. Bea (a returning Rose Byrne) is about to be married to Peter’s former enemy (a fun, returning Domhnall Gleeson as Thomas McGregor) as the film opens. The farm’s animals are included in the ceremony, although Peter (voiced by James Corden) daydreams quite a different outcome.

Bea has written a highly successful book about her rabbits, filled with her paintings/drawings, and Thomas has helped “publish” it. Then in comes good-looking, hotshot Nigel Basil-Jones (David Oyelowo), who works for a big-city publisher and believes he can make Bea a literary star. Bea actually has been thinking about a 23-book series with 109 characters. (Real-life “The Tales of Peter Rabbit” author Helen Beatrix Potter, 1866-1943, did, in fact, write 23 books about the animal characters.) Nigel, however, envisions Peter as the “bad seed” is future books, causing Peter to walk dejectedly out of the meeting. As he trudges through his funny walk – including a cement patch – Peter encounters an elderly rabbit named Barnabas, who claims to have been friends with Peter’s father. After Barnabas (voiced by Lennie James of “The Walk Dead” series) shows Peter a little bit about how to survive on the street, it turns out he leads a gang of thieves, and he enlists Peter, who is to bring all his animal friends, to participate in a big heist of dried fruit from the upcoming famer’s market.

While trying to right things towards the end, Peter reveals to Thomas that he can talk. The ending cleverly sets up all the way-too-far-out action points that Nigel wanted to include in the books, but Bea thought were too much, as Peter, Bea and Thomas have to rescue Peter’s friends who have been captured by Piperson’s Pets and sold to people throughout England and even overseas.

The mix of animation and live action make the animals very realistic. Their talking does not look phony at all, and wait until you see Cottontail discover sugar on the train ride to Nigel’s firm.

Extras include a making-of featurette with director/co-writer Will Gluck (also did the first film) who calls it a movie about identity (9:18); the “Flopsy Turvey” mini-movie (4:09); and four how-to crafts sessions on making a pie (4:49), crafting a bunny bookmark (4:50), creating a woodland terrarium (4:36) and making a McGregor garden (17:03). Grade: film 3 stars; extras 2 stars

Labyrinth: 35th Anniversary Edition (1986, Sony Pictures, 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray, PG, 101 min.). Jim Henson’s film, after his “Dark Crystal,” which only had puppet characters, successfully integrates human characters with the puppets. Most of the fantasy film revolves around Jennifer Connelly, then 14, as 16-year-old Sarah and rocker David Bowie as the Goblin King, aka Jareth. Bowie contributed five very-decent songs to the film, while screenwriter Terry Jones (Monty Python) also wrote the film’s score. Henson, who directed, co-wrote the story with Dennis Lee.

Sarah is a bit pouty teenager who fantasizes about having to go up against the Goblin King to save a child. She very much resents having to babysit for her infant brother Toby. During her most recent babysitting assignment, Sarah calls out a wish that the Goblin King take Toby and a batch of goblins are listening and make it happen. When Sarah recants her wish, Jareth is having none of it, unless she solves the labyrinth surrounding his castle before 13 hours pass.

Once Sarah enters the labyrinth, she kind of befriends the not-too-trustworthy dwarf Hoggle (voiced by Brian Henson, with Shari Weiser in the suit), whose main duty seems to be killing fairies by spraying them. Interestingly, Sarah calls Hoggle “Hogwart,” a name that author J.K. Rowling will later use for the the wizardry school, Hogwarts, in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (1997), although Rowling has said the name is based on the word for a flowering weed common in the U.K.

Other creatures that Sarah encounters in the labyrinth are a talking worm, walls of talking hands and of talking faces, the large and powerful Ludo (voiced by Rob Mueck, with Rob Mills in the suit), talking door knockers, the dancing Fireys who can remove their heads and the bridge-guarding, Musketeer-like Sir Didymus (voiced by Dave Goelz, with David Allen Barclay bringing him to life) and his dog steed.

The movie’s plot is episodic and a bit haphazard, but the imagination that went into the creatures and settings is superb. The labyrinth itself, when seen in total from outside and from various points inside, is a wonder, as are the M.C. Escher-like stairs that go in all directions in Jareth’s castle. The town surrounding the castle is wonderful as well. And all the creatures that Sarah encounters are marvels of design and puppetry, some requiring five or six people to operate them.

Many of the extras are from the 2016 Blu-ray release of the film. The 4K disc does have more than 25 minutes of deleted and alternate scene Oubliette, with new commentary by Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son who worked on the film, mainly working Hobble, and screen tests for the role of Sarah. Those trying out for Sarah include Molly Ringwald, Trini Alvarado, Tracey Gold, Claudia Wells, Jill Schoelen, Maddie Corman and Danielle von Zerneck.

The rest of the extras are on the Blu-ray disc and include the ability to watch the film picture-in-picture with cast and crew popping up now and then to talk about segments of the film. Creature designer Brian Froud, whose son Toby was used as baby Toby in the film, talks about the Goblin City (30:03), while David Goelz discusses the many creature characters (27:59). A making-of documentary shows Bowie recording “Underground” in studio and show how many of the creature effects were accomplished (56:28).

Snippets of the latter are used in some of the 2016 extras, which include Jim Henson looking back at the filming (9:31), three Henson siblings talking about their father’s and the film’s legacy, including a museum exhibit (10:36), and a remembrance of Bowie as the Goblin King (4:48). There is an audio commentary by Brian Froud, the conceptual designer, plus a 25th anniversary Q&A with Brian Henson, Dave Goelz, Karen Prell (she played The Worm and Junk Woman) and Shari Weiser (41:24). Most of the extras are very informative.

The limited edition comes in a 28-page Digibook that has rare artwork, photography and early script pages from the Henson archives. The book itself is styled like Sarah’s book of “The Labyrinth” from the film, including a faux leather cover. Grade: film 3 stars; extras 5 stars