A Dark Song

★★★☆ – (2016) – A woman enlists the help of an occultist in order to settle a score over her dead child. Takes a little while to grip, but once it does you’re treated to one unexpected moment after another. Moody, tense, and highly effective in its drama and horror, though some may find the conclusion a little too bonkers.

Unlisted Owner

★★½☆ – (2013) – A group of friends venture into a house where recent murders transpired, only to find doing so isn’t the brightest of ideas. Has some genuinely funny camaraderie among the leads, though their jokes gradually give way to perpetual yelling. The intro is too abrupt, and the finale mimics The Blair Witch Project, but this hits the right marks and provides fun.

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.

Schlock

★½☆☆ – (1973) – The missing link runs amok while terrorizing people, going to the movies, and playing a piano. It’s clear from the first second that this never intended to be anything but a cheesy comedy, but the problem is that it’s never funny. Easy to get through thanks to a short length, but still tries patience early on.

The First Purge

★½☆☆ – (2018) – For reasons explained in previous entries, a night is staged for people to loot and kill as they please. Not as bad as the previous sequel because this does have a pulse and doesn’t irritate as much, but it’s not about anything we haven’t already seen three miserable times before. Full of stock characters, nonsensical plotting, and lame comic relief.

Pontypool

★½☆☆ – (2008) – Radio station personnel become involved in an infection that turns people into rabid killers. If you come for the horror you’ll be disappointed in that most of this is comprised of unintriguing characters and misplaced comedy. Has much to do about soundwaves, but not much else to hold interest.

Under the Shadow

★★½☆ – (2016) – In a city under Iraqi attack, a mother must protect her daughter from a force of evil. Manages two layers of suspense, the ghost and the war, though the former could have been avoided had the protagonist left home as suggested. Not the most logical, but does pile on some gritty suspense in the latter stages.