Holidays

★★½☆ – (2016) – Anthology of six stories that focus on a bullied teen, an evil spawn, a resurrected creature, fertility rituals, a family search, female revenge, a virtual reality device, and dual murderers, all taking place on separate holidays. Though there are brushes with amateurism and silliness, there are also moments of shock and tension. Nothing stands out as a classic, as even the best tales have lackluster outcomes, but this is enjoyable straight through.

Red Riding Hood

★½☆☆ – (2011) – A werewolf terrorizes a small village, interrupting an already lackluster love triangle. While the cast and sets are commendable, the plot and character growth is deplorable. Not too hard to get through, but lacks two major components: excitement and romance. Basically Twilight meets Ginger Snaps Back meets a test pattern.

Friend Request

★½☆☆ – (2016) – An unpopular girl who kills herself takes cyberbullying to new heights by killing those who’ve wronged her. The initial idea could have led to a chilling time, but this is ruined by a lack of frights, bad F/X, non-existent characters, and no lore in the villain. Has an unoriginal script and a rather unsightly cast.

Don’t Kill It

★★☆☆ – (2016) – A demon hunter and an FBI agent try to stop an evil force that hops into whomever kills its host. While Dolph Lundgren makes for a credible lead, and the concept is commendable, the overall output is only mildly engaging thanks largely to woefully overused CGI gore. The seriousness and camp don’t always blend well, either.

Death House

★½☆☆ – (2017) – Two FBI agents try to escape from a prison where unleashed inmates attempt their own break out. Appears promising due to the slew of cult icons involved, but the film itself is an unsightly mess. No character is distinctive, no plot point fuses with another, and no scene of action is clear enough to tell what’s going on. Proof positive that if you don’t have a script, you don’t have a movie.

Brightburn

★★☆☆ – (2019) – A married couple takes in a child from another world and later discover his malicious nature. Moves so fast in the early stages that none of the characters or the overall situation is fully established. While there are a few shocking and gruesome moments, there are also too many illogical and aggravating ones, mostly dealing with the rather dim parents. Worthwhile, but hollow.

Alison’s Birthday

★★½☆ – (1981) – A young woman returns to her family’s estate for her 19th birthday party, and is met with strange activities from an ancestral coven. Moves slow and goes through common motions, but does hold attention throughout. The end result is fantastic, however, as this features one of the creepiest conclusions in all of horror.

Fangs of the Living Dead

★½☆☆ – (1969) – A woman inherits a castle inhabited by vampires. Goes through typical motions in the set-up, follow through, and conclusion, while only providing highlights in hideous dialog. The settings are authentic, but the story and characters do nothing to rouse intrigue.