The Perfection

★★☆☆ – (2018) – Psychotic moments are exchanged in a small circle of cellists. Almost succeeds as a unique horror experience, but for every shocking moment there are several of blinding stupidity that almost render this a comedy. Would have worked better if no character spoke and the actors practiced their parts.

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.

I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu

★½☆☆ – (2019) – Family members of the original film’s victims seek revenge against their adversary and her daughter. The concept holds promise by tying in decades of rage, but most of what occurs brings that notion to incredible lows for three reasons: (1) the characters are impossibly obnoxious; (2) the plot becomes a pale retread of Part One; (3) the two-and-a-half hour length is about two hours too long for such a scant, poorly written script. Why 148 minutes? WHY!?

All the Creatures Were Stirring

★½☆☆ – (2018) – Anthology of five stories that focus on a twisted office party, demon knights, yuletide psychosis, a vengeful reindeer, and an alternate reality. The black box theater setup is different, but the stories themselves are bland and uninspiring. Most stories have no resolution, making this feel like a collection of thrown away ideas.

Mandy

★★½☆ – (2018) – A mild mannered lumberjack goes after the cult that roasted his wife. The first half, while painfully slow, offers high levels of intrigue, while the second half provides all the Nicolas Cage bombast you could ever want or expect. Stylish one moment, basic the next, but always hard to look away from.

Don’t Hang Up

★★★☆ – (2016) – Obnoxious friends who catch a thrill in pranking people are taught a violent and valuable lesson. Mostly borrow parts from other films, and is often predictable, but the filmmaking aspects are professional enough to hold this in high regard. Starts rough, but eventually becomes a rather grueling experience.

Upgrade

★★★☆ – (2018) – A paralyzed man is implanted with a device that allows him to walk and seek his wife’s killers. Starts a little slow, but hits its stride about a half hour in and rarely lets up. Filled with unexpected twists, laugh-out-loud moments, and has one whopper of a conclusion. Borders on silly at times, but lands some mean punches.