His House

★★½☆ – (2020) – African refugees flee to England where they’re housed in a tenement full of ghoulish surprises. Has some stark scenes of horror that contrast the wicked outside world, and provides a few chills along the way. The main problem is that the leads aren’t drawn enough to feel total compassion for, despite how tragic their lives are.

 131 total views

Don’t Listen

★½☆☆ – (2020) – Those who die in a particular house return as vocal ghosts. Lacks an emotional connection to any character since their ties to one another are so ordinary, and lacks scares since everything attempted has been done to death. Rarely raises a pulse, and has more instances of characters shouting “Papa!” than any moment worth watching this for.

 508 total views

Host

★½☆☆ – (2020) – A group of friends chatting through Zoom are haunted by a malevolent force. Begins okay with believable banter between characters, but it’s hard to tell if what happens to them from a horror standpoint is comedy or not. Nothing here is remotely original, and too many attempted scares come across as laughable. Runs less than an hour, which is a huge benefit for the unimpressed.

 263 total views

House of the Witch

★★☆☆ – (2017) – A group of teens enter a haunted estate on Halloween night and have a hard time getting out. Takes every known ghost cliche of the past 100 years and crams them into 86-minutes. Does provide a variety of attempted scares, but none provide tension as you’re more apt to laugh at most occurrences than cower from them.

 370 total views

Polaroid

★★☆☆ – (2019) – A girl with a troubled past obtains a camera that dooms whomever is developed on the film. While this does attempt a credible mystery, it too often misses the mark in regards to logic and character development. Has decent moments, but also some unusually dumb ones.

 466 total views

The Darkness

★★☆☆ – (2016) – A family’s daily problems worsen when mysterious stones that summon spirits are brought back from a desert outing. Works okay as an uneven drama with personal issues that come and go, but the horror aspects are lacking. The final third, when horror does kick in, isn’t remotely close to frightening.

 236 total views