Halloween Tales

★½☆☆ – (2017) – Anthology of four stories that focus on an internet creep, a murderous cult, parental angst, and a ranting blowhard. First, these aren’t Halloween tales since none take place on Halloween! Second, the entire wraparound is a blatant rip off of Tales from the Crypt. Other than that, this is awful due to stiff writing and stiffer line delivery. Only good for unintentional chuckles.

The Babysitter (2017)

★★★☆ – (2017) – A young man who’s afraid of everything is hunted by his babysitter and her sadistic cronies. Despite some slow spots in the second act, and a plot that doesn’t make much sense, this is an absolute blast. The humor is top notch, surprises run rampant, and the script tightly winds together every small detail put forth throughout. Funny, gruesome, and surprisingly touching.

Byzantium

★★½☆ – (2012) – A sixteen-year-old vampire struggles with her existence alongside her mother. Takes its sweet ass time going about typical vampire dramatics, but has enough unique inclusions that set this apart from other tales of bloodsucker lore. Leans toward the dull side, yet you do care about character outcomes.

Mother!

★½☆☆ – (2017) – A secluded married couple are visited upon by people who come in droves for no discernible reason. Starts off well enough when gradually introducing strange characters and events, but hits a wall midway and loses all traces of logic and meaning. Though it does feel like we’re watching a nightmare unfold, the outcome isn’t nearly as powerful as intended.

Jackals

★½☆☆ – (2017) – A family steals their brainwashed son from a cult, but the cult desperately wants him back. Never proves the family is close enough that saving one of their own should be such a high priority, as nobody seems to like one another. The whole scenario is a lose-lose situation that turns out exactly as expected.

1313: Cougar Cult

★☆☆☆ – (2012) – Three women perform rituals on young men in order to appease their god. An incredibly repetitive outing that features near-naked men showering or squirming in bed before the women laughably turn into cougars and allegedly eat them (the eating is never shown). A lazy concoction that means absolutely nothing.

Torture Garden

★★☆☆ – (1967) – Anthology of four stories that focus on a vengeful cat, a secret film society, an active piano, and Edgar Allan Poe. Each segment is unpredictable and uneasy to figure out, which is a plus, but they also move at a crawl. Utilizes some good ideas and some great actors, but is hardly ever shocking.

The Void

★★☆☆ – (2016) – Cops, hospital personnel, and vigilantes contend with interdimensional forces of evil. Basically a cross between Assault on Precinct 13 and From Beyond, with traces of other more successful films thrown in the mix. Has some enjoyably gory mayhem, but the plot and significance lack originality.