The Babadook

Babadook, The

★½☆☆ – (2014) – A child is driving his mother nuts by insistently alleging that a storybook character is after him. The plight of the lead actress is commendable, but too many scenarios are cold and irritating. A psychological annoyance whose humor runs thin.

Messiah of Evil

Messiah of Evil

★½☆☆ – (1973) – A woman searches for her father in a realm of incredibly slow zombies. A few atmospheric shots work, but most of this leans toward the drab and pointless side. Seems to know how empty the story is as narration fills in one too many explanations.

Splinter

Splinter

★☆☆☆ – (2008) – Pathetic convicts and an irritating couple are trapped in a convenience store by victims of a zombie-like virus. A showcase of bad ideas, phony characters, and laughable predicaments. By the time this rips off Tremors 2, all hope is lost.

Rewind This!

Rewind This!

★★½☆ – (2013) – Documentary that focuses on the rise of home video through to the current state of digital pirating. A few docs of this sort have come before, and a few will follow, but this one is well structured, expansive, and informative. A few too many nameless geeks participate, but by the end a valid point is made clear: collectors will save purchasable media.

Killer Mermaid

Killer Mermaid

★★☆☆ – (2014) – A group of vacationing companions sort out the drama in their lives, then face a killer girl-fish. Works well early on when focusing on characters, but once the horror becomes the focus interest is lost to commonness. Ends on a note that promises more mayhem, but if lessons aren’t learned the sequel will be just as useless.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

Dead Snow 2

★★★☆ – (2014) – Nazi zombies continue to spread their masses, but a specialized group of geeks aims to stop them. Builds on the okay original by piling on one outrageously violent or humorous moment after another. Some of the action grows repetitive, but this is a sadistic joy right down to the final shot.

The Dead 2

Dead 2, The

★½☆☆ – (2013) – A zombie outbreak in India pits some gruff guy against insurmountable circumstances. Everything related to horror is typical while everything related to drama is overwrought schmaltz. Drab idiocy with a lousy conclusion.