The Alchemist Cookbook

★★☆☆ – (2016) – A paranoid young man who lives alone in the woods conducts experiments to ward off evil. The premise holds promise, and a secondary character provides laughs, but by the mid-point every highlight dissolves into nothingness. The main problem is we’re never told what’s going on, which might intrigue some but frustrate others.

Tonight She Comes

★★½☆ – (2016) – A naked force of absolute evil makes life painfully difficult for the few in her terrain. Gets off to a pitiful start before the horror takes over and the failed attempt to create credible characters wanes. The plot makes no sense, but the violence is so unabashedly disgusting it’s hard not to cringe or squirm through the impressive second half.

Late Phases

★½☆☆ – (2014) – A blind vet moves into a rest home that’s attacked by a werewolf, then spends a month awaiting the next assault. Perhaps intended to become the Bubba Ho-Tep of werewolf films, but stumbles out of the gate thanks largely to unlikable characters and bad creature design. A joyless drag.

Witching and Bitching

★★★☆ – (2013) – Jewelry store robbers, one of their young sons, and a cab driver end up the targets of witches who plan mankind’s fall. Begins as a humorous heist film with no traces of horror, but waiting for the witch scenario to take flight is worth the effort. Eventually does whatever it wants to do to provide shocks and humor, and ultimately stands out as a mark of pure lunacy.

He Never Died

★★★☆ – (2015) – A lumbering immortal makes trouble for gangsters who disrupt his meaningless days. While the point isn’t entirely clear, and some motives are questionable, this is always fun and worth following. Mainly gets by on great humor, witty dialog, and a terrific performance by Henry Rollins.

Disciples

★½☆☆ – (2014) – Demons on Earth battle for the fate of mankind with some human interference. Has traces of a good film in style and casting, but figuring out what this all means is nearly impossible. A muddled mass of religious mumbo-jumbo with some truly laughable effects and horror moments.

Veronica

★½☆☆ – (2017) – A young woman inadvertently summons a pissed off ghost and wades through one haunting after another. While this does have solid attempts at horror, none ever take hold since they’re always visions without consequences. Worst of all is the rampant stupidity, as characters seem to beg to be put in harm’s way.