Amityville: Vanishing Point

☆☆☆☆ – (2016) – A girl goes missing from a boarding house in Amityville. The plot is nearly impossible to discern since every line of dialog is an exercise in how not to speak, and is often spoken alongside music of equal volume. This is clearly the work of someone with a camcorder, five dollars, and friends who are willing to ruin their low-level acting careers in one fell swoop. Ugly, erratic, and irritating.

Amityville Death House

★☆☆☆ – (2015) – A group of friends stop at a house in Amityville, NY that has ties to Salem, MA. A pathetic attempt to cash in on notorious New York murders when it’s perfectly clear this is not a New York production. The characters, and everything they do and have happen to them, are useless, bland, and pedestrian.

High Spirits

high-spirits

★★☆☆ – (1988) – Castle inhabitants plan to falsely haunt their domain until discovering the place is actually haunted. A sloppily told and noisily concocted story of many characters (most of whom are never fleshed out) dealing with love on earthly and unearthly planes. The atmosphere is strong, but despite many attempts at zany comedy few laughs are had.

Blair Witch

blair-witch

★★★☆ – (2016) – Four friends and two tagalongs enter haunted woods in search of a girl who went missing over a decade before. Has a rough beginning that merely duplicates the original’s set-up, and the characters are hardly profound, but once the horror kicks in the tension never lets up. A relentless display of staggering suspense, unpleasant atmosphere, and effective shocks.

The Conjuring 2

Conjuring 2, The

★★★☆ – (2016) – Paranormal experts investigate the possession of a child and the ghostly mayhem in her London home. Begins in a location promised in the previous film’s conclusion, and proceeds with events that not only keep pace with the freakishness of the original, but invents new scenarios as well. A surprisingly dramatic spookshow that’s loaded with tension.

Sinister 2

Sinister 2

★★☆☆ – (2015) – A family hiding out in a haunted farmhouse are subjected to videos of torture. Some of the family dynamics feel realistic, and characters are somewhat well-drawn, but the pace is too slow and the horror too familiar. Tries to get by on jolts, yet can only manage a few creepy images.