Blue Ruin

★★½☆ – (2013) – A young man returns home after killing the person who murdered his parents, and finds trouble with a vengeful family. Has a few scenes with stomach twisting shocks, and there’s always a need to see how things pan out. Not always on point, however, as some events lean toward the predictable/illogical side.

Deadgirl

★★½☆ – (2008) – A deceased young woman who’s not really dead complicates the lives of derelicts and their bullies. Though there’s a lot of confusion in the rules at hand, enough twisted and violent acts occur to mark this as a success. Would have worked much better if any single character weren’t so despicable or weak.

In Fear

★★½☆ – (2013) – A couple on their way to a hotel become lost in a never-ending maze while tormented by strangers. Though the plot is hardly airtight, and the characters aren’t drawn well enough to root for or against, there is an overall aura of tension throughout and a need to see how everything will pan out. Often unique and stirring.

The Most Dangerous Game

★★½☆ – (1932) – A man who’s stranded on an infamous island is hunted for sport by the island’s owner. Only runs 63-minutes, but seems to take forever getting to the hunt. While most of this consists of lumbering dialog, the final third does have great atmosphere and innovative camera work.

The Babysitter (1995)

★½☆☆ – (1995) – Various men (and a young boy) obsess over a girl on a night she’s babysitting. The narrative structure is a total mess, as most of this is told through snippets of fantasy, all of which comes across as an uncomfortable form of creepy. Every character is a drab loser with unclear intentions, rendering this a useless bore.

Mother!

★½☆☆ – (2017) – A secluded married couple are visited upon by people who come in droves for no discernible reason. Starts off well enough when gradually introducing strange characters and events, but hits a wall midway and loses all traces of logic and meaning. Though it does feel like we’re watching a nightmare unfold, the outcome isn’t nearly as powerful as intended.

Gerald’s Game

★★½☆ – (2017) – A woman is handcuffed to a bed by a man who has a heart attack, leaving her alone to face physical and mental turmoil. The structure does a great job turning a book that seemed impossible to film into a twisted series of psychological events. Takes too long to explain itself in the end, and the Crypt Creeper is more silly than frightening, but does feature one of the goriest moments in horror history.

Timecrimes

★★½☆ – (2007) – A man inadvertently travels back in time to avoid a killer, and gradually learns the dark ramifications of repeating the past. Has a unique premise that takes plenty of unexpected turns, although some events can feel muddled. Has moments that question logic, but is moderately gripping overall.

Get Out

★★½☆ – (2017) – A black man and his white girlfriend visit her home where sadistic events involving hypnotism transpire. Incredibly unique and unnerving during the first two thirds, with the proper blends of tension and humor. Comes close to falling apart in the muddled final act, but the theme of oppression is never lost.