Be My Cat: A Film for Anne

★★☆☆ – (2015) – A man who’s obsessed with Anne Hathaway hires, films, and brutalizes actresses who resemble her in preparation for his desired meeting with her. The premise is unique, and the found footage aspect works, but even at only 87-minutes this tends to drag. Has a few unnerving spots, but the uneven pace and repetition make this easy to drift away from.

Borderland

★★★☆ – (2007) – A trio of friends looking for fun at a Mexican border town instead find themselves involved with a religious cult. Opens with a vicious bang, then builds on an involving mystery with plenty of surprises and violent shocks. Characters aren’t always the brightest, and some actions aren’t logical, but this is completely absorbing in the grittiest of ways.

Cheap Thrills

★★★½ – (2013) – Two former friends in turmoil reunite at a bar and come in contact with someone who offers them money to perform violent acts. Enjoyable from humorous start to brutal finish, and packs in a ton of twists along the way. There’s never a dull moment, and plenty of cringe-worthy and laugh-out-loud moments.

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.

Revenge (2017)

★★☆☆ – (2017) – A girl who’s raped and later left for dead hunts down her aggressors. Initially has some enticing and shocking moments, but gradually becomes a bland mix of I Spit on Your Grave and Rambo III. The violence is the highlight as this ultimately turns into a bloodbath, but the plot and characters leave much to be desired.

Trophy Heads

★★☆☆ – (2014) – A man is kidnapping B-movie scream queens and filming their murders. The motive isn’t air tight, and some scenes drag on for far too long. Never lives up to its concept, either, but the actresses are all game and it’s great to see so many assembled at once to poke fun at their cheesy (but awesome) careers.

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.

Jigsaw

★★☆☆ – (2017) – Five people play vicious games against murderous devices while detectives and medics try to piece together where and why. Has clever moments and spots of violence that remind us of the days of Saw lore, but there’s never a moment that doesn’t feel unnecessary. Not a complete waste, but the reasons for bringing the series back only add confusion.

Exit to Hell

★½☆☆ – (2013) – Gang members who shoot up a Russian strip club end up victims of a sadistic family ensuing escape. Blends an ordinary gangster movie with an ordinary Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff and ends up an ordinary bore. Has some great nudity early on, and some okay violence, but everything else is too familiar.

Leatherface

★★½☆ – (2017) – The child of a notoriously lawless family escapes from a mental institution, raises hell with other inmates, and ultimately becomes the titular villain. Gets off to a terrible start by introducing scenarios that make no sense (if the family’s so bad why are they free), but gradually becomes a ridiculous bloodbath that’s hard to look away from. Light years from perfect, but provides some gory goods.