Backcountry

★★☆☆ – (2014) – Two yuppies go camping, get lost, and become hunted by a bear. You’re at the mercy of two characters who carry most of the film, and while they’re not completely annoying, they’re not exactly worth cheering on, either. Once a map is denied within the first five minutes you know exactly how things will pan out, but there are a few gritty moments later in the film.

The Taking of Deborah Logan

★★½☆ – (2014) – A small documentary crew films a woman who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, only to find her affliction is far more dangerous than anticipated. The first half is yet another found footage story that thinks its bland design is unique, but the story gradually becomes creepy, surprising, and tense. Makes little sense, but escapes its own monotony and tends to entertain.

The Endless

★★½☆ – (2017) – Two brothers return to a commune they once escaped from, only to find it’s as strange as they initially believed. The first half is fueled by a rising mystery with intriguing characters and moments. Gets a little too zany for its own good toward the end, and is longer than need be, but always remains worthwhile.

The Battery

★★☆☆ – (2012) – Two baseball players try to survive a living dead outbreak in rural America. Not the worst thing to happen to the zombie genre, but far from the best since it never does anything particularly new. The few characters are engaging at first, but like the story around them, they don’t take long to not do anything special.

Resolution

★★☆☆ – (2012) – A junkie’s friend attempts to detox him in the house where he’s squatting, but finds trouble of the strangest varieties. Seems to confuse on purpose, which is fine since the quirks are easy to sit through. The main problem is how tiring the druggie becomes only moments into the film. Odd, but hardly gripping.

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 people 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.

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.