The Nightmare

½☆☆☆ – (2015) – Faux documentary about a bunch of people who describe their dark brushes with sleep paralysis. An excruciating experience that gets old five minutes in, but insists on dragging out stories that get less involving the more they expand. Might have worked as a short, but this is full length torture of bad actors pretending to have real plights.

The Endless

★★½☆ – (2017) – Two brothers return to a commune they once escaped from, only to find it’s as strange as they initially believed. The first half is fueled by a rising mystery with intriguing characters and moments. Gets a little too zany for its own good toward the end, and is longer than need be, but always remains worthwhile.

The Battery

★★☆☆ – (2012) – Two baseball players try to survive a living dead outbreak in rural America. Not the worst thing to happen to the zombie genre, but far from the best since it never does anything particularly new. The few characters are engaging at first, but like the story around them, they don’t take long to not do anything special.

Resolution

★★☆☆ – (2012) – A junkie’s friend attempts to detox him in the house where he’s squatting, but finds trouble of the strangest varieties. Seems to confuse on purpose, which is fine since the quirks are easy to sit through. The main problem is how tiring the druggie becomes only moments into the film. Odd, but hardly gripping.

13 Tzameti

★½☆☆ – (2005) – A repairman becomes involved in a dangerous ring of Russian Roulette. Gets off to a painfully slow start before reaching the core of the story 45-minutes in. After that, even the highlights are repetitive and nothing about any single character is ever explored.

The Alchemist Cookbook

★★☆☆ – (2016) – A paranoid young man who lives alone in the woods conducts experiments to ward off evil. The premise holds promise, and a secondary character provides laughs, but by the mid-point every highlight dissolves into nothingness. The main problem is we’re never told what’s going on, which might intrigue some but frustrate others.

Hereditary

★★☆☆ – (2018) – A woman whose family history is riddled with insanity goes off the deep end ensuing a relative’s death. Hard to describe (and critique) since for every unique shock there’s a moment of complete nonsense. Involving and has plenty to commend, but after a while some scares become silly while the acting becomes a little too unhinged.

The Strangers: Prey at Night

★½☆☆ – (2018) – Disguised maniacs pick off a dysfunctional family in a trailer park community. A bland, predictable, and cliche riddled slog that could only terrify those with a mask phobia. Just as preposterous as the first film, though some of the violence is rather unsettling.

Septic Man

★½☆☆ – (2013) – A man searching for the end to a viral outbreak becomes trapped in a sewer by a giant and his evil brother. Has a gleefully vile opening scene that only opens the door to the sheer boredom that follows. Grisly throughout, but otherwise offers nothing that isn’t disgusting (i.e. a point).

Krampus 2: The Devil Returns

★☆☆☆ – (2016) – Kris Kringle and his demonic brother punish bad kids and those who intend to stop them. If the intentions were to create a film with no excitement, no character worth caring about, and no reason to follow up the previous dud, then this succeeds admirably. Anyone looking for a film with a purpose and a pulse should look elsewhere.