Amityville: The Awakening

★½☆☆ – (2017) – A small family moves into a notorious house only to find their invalid brother/son possessed by evil forces. Does what it can to link itself to the original film, but still isn’t any better than the slew of crap with “Amityville” in the title. There’s worse in this lame series, if you can call it a series, but this one turns anything potentially frightening into corn.

Stung

★★☆☆ – (2015) – Big wasps become bigger wasps when they bore into humans and tear their way out. A small scale outing that mainly features a few characters trying to outlast a monster invasion from within a mansion. The cutesy banter between the leads is as familiar as the mayhem around them, but some jokes work and the pace is brisk.

Goodnight Mommy

Goodnight Mommy

★★★☆ – (2014) – Twin boys play sadistic games with a bandaged woman who claims she’s their mother but acts nothing like her. Reaches highs in scenes that shock and disturb, but has a couple of illogical lows. Winds down on an eerie note by churning out the completely unexpected. Requires patience, but is worth the wait.

Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes

★★☆☆ – (2014) – An aspiring actress sinks low to earn a role, then somehow transforms into a vicious killer. The intention is to perhaps ward off dreams of fame, but the conclusion renders that theory void as nothing is gained by any violent event. The bloodshed is unnerving at times, but the drama and social points are lost.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit 2

★★☆☆ – (2013) – Varying Middle Earth inhabitants quest for a stone once stolen by a fearful dragon. An overblown assortment of long speeches, last minute rescues, uneven humor, and ridiculously choreographed action. Visually impressive, but the characters haven’t grown since the previous film, which only adds to the emptiness.