Ma

★★☆☆ – (2019) – High school kids befriend a woman who lets them party in her basement, but she gradually becomes too involved in their lives. Works best when laying out insanity, but some occurrences are a bit on the silly side. The major problem is the antagonist’s motive, which doesn’t necessitate the brutal outcome.

Holidays

★★½☆ – (2016) – Anthology of six stories that focus on a bullied teen, an evil spawn, a resurrected creature, fertility rituals, a family search, female revenge, a virtual reality device, and dual murderers, all taking place on separate holidays. Though there are brushes with amateurism and silliness, there are also moments of shock and tension. Nothing stands out as a classic, as even the best tales have lackluster outcomes, but this is enjoyable straight through.

Tammy and the T-Rex

★★½☆ – (1994) – A young man who’s mauled by a lion has his brain implanted into a mechanical dinosaur. As preposterous as the plot sounds, this actually sort of works because it knows exactly how stupid it is. Moves fast and blends eye-rolling comedy with some genuinely humorous moments. Sounds like a children’s movie, but is far more risque.

Anna and the Apocalypse

★★☆☆ – (2018) – A zombie outbreak forces high school students to face the trials and tribulations of a vicious world. Begins as an ambitious musical with a few catchy tunes, but gradually forgets to include songs and focuses too much on common zombie tropes and a useless human villain subplot. Hits a few high notes, but ends flat despite emotional strives.

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.

Once Bitten

★★☆☆ – (1985) – A high school student looking to lose his virginity is bitten by a female vampire who won’t leave him alone. Moves incredibly fast and has plenty of outlandish moments, but the humor is rather stale and the plot too flimsy to worry about. Shows signs of Jim Carrey’s bright future, but here he’s as underplayed as all the other characters.