The Devil’s Carnival: Alleluia!

★★☆☆ – (2016) – God, the devil, and their acquaintances sing through the plight of putting dark souls in Heaven. Not nearly as painful as the dull original, as this one shows signs of life. The plot tends to confuse, and the songs are repetitive, but there is progression and solid production values.

Dream Home

★★½☆ – (2010) – A woman who longs for a specific home goes through extreme measures to clear out its occupants. The story is decent enough to carry the viewer from beginning to end, but the selling point by far is the violence. Some of the murders are among the most creative and hard to watch in the history of the slasher. Brutal enjoyment that should be watched on an empty stomach.

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.

Tonight She Comes

★★½☆ – (2016) – A naked force of absolute evil makes life painfully difficult for the few people in her terrain. Gets off to a pitiful start before the horror takes over and the failed attempt to create credible characters wanes. The plot makes no sense, but the violence is so unabashedly disgusting it’s hard not to cringe or squirm through the impressive second half.

Late Phases

★½☆☆ – (2014) – A blind vet moves into a rest home that’s attacked by a werewolf, then spends a month awaiting the next assault. Perhaps intended to become the Bubba Ho-Tep of werewolf films, but stumbles out of the gate thanks largely to unlikable characters and bad creature design. A joyless drag.

Witching and Bitching

★★★☆ – (2013) – Jewelry store robbers, one of their young sons, and a cab driver end up the targets of witches who plan mankind’s fall. Begins as a humorous heist film with no traces of horror, but waiting for the witch scenario to take flight is worth the effort. Eventually does whatever it wants to do to provide shocks and humor, and ultimately stands out as a mark of pure lunacy.

He Never Died

★★★☆ – (2015) – A lumbering immortal makes trouble for gangsters who disrupt his meaningless days. While the point isn’t entirely clear, and some motives are questionable, this is always fun and worth following. Mainly gets by on great humor, witty dialog, and a terrific performance by Henry Rollins.

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins

★½☆☆ – (2009) – A group of teens and a talking dog try to solve a ghostly problem in their high school. Good for a chuckle or two if your child-self is watching, but to the adult-self this is pure misery. The jokes grow old fast, the story is hard to invest in, and the characters barely resemble the cartoon cast or even the actors from the first two live action films.

Trophy Heads

★★☆☆ – (2014) – A man is kidnapping B-movie scream queens and filming their murders. The motive isn’t air tight, and some scenes drag on for far too long. Never lives up to its concept, either, but the actresses are all game and it’s great to see so many assembled at once to poke fun at their cheesy (but awesome) careers.