The Strangers: Prey at Night

★½☆☆ – (2018) – Disguised maniacs pick off a dysfunctional family in a trailer park community. A bland, predictable, and cliche riddled slog that could only terrify those with a mask phobia. Just as preposterous as the first film, though some of the violence is rather unsettling.

Septic Man

★½☆☆ – (2013) – A man searching for the end to a viral outbreak becomes trapped in a sewer by a giant and his evil brother. Has a gleefully vile opening scene that only opens the door to the sheer boredom that follows. Grisly throughout, but otherwise offers nothing that isn’t disgusting (i.e. a point).

Krampus 2: The Devil Returns

★☆☆☆ – (2016) – Kris Kringle and his demonic brother punish bad kids and those who intend to stop them. If the intentions were to create a film with no excitement, no character worth caring about, and no reason to follow up the previous dud, then this succeeds admirably. Anyone looking for a film with a purpose and a pulse should look elsewhere.

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.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

★½☆☆ – (2018) – A few dinosaurs are rescued from a volcanic realm while a newly constructed breed makes trouble in a facility. Peaks 30-minutes in after an exciting lava chase, but the rest is a contest in which means less: the stale plot or the stale characters. Has some dark moments, but when the only sympathy is geared toward CGI monsters, something is seriously wrong.

Late Phases

★½☆☆ – (2014) – A blind vet moves into a rest home that’s attacked by a werewolf, then spends a month awaiting the next assault. Perhaps intended to become the Bubba Ho-Tep of werewolf films, but stumbles out of the gate thanks largely to unlikable characters and bad creature design. A joyless drag.

Found

★★☆☆ – (2012) – A kid harbors the secret that his older brother is a serial killer, further complicating their already dysfunctional lives. The story is okay in the early stages when characters and their horror fandom are on display, but this doesn’t take long to crawl into sheer dullness. The production is cheap, the acting is barely average, and there are too many actor close-ups. The final shot, however, is a good one.

Witching and Bitching

★★★☆ – (2013) – Jewelry store robbers, one of their young sons, and a cab driver end up the targets of witches who plan mankind’s fall. Begins as a humorous heist film with no traces of horror, but waiting for the witch scenario to take flight is worth the effort. Eventually does whatever it wants to do to provide shocks and humor, and ultimately stands out as a mark of pure lunacy.

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.

Right at Your Door

★★½☆ – (2006) – After a toxic attack in Los Angeles, a woman returns home and finds herself locked out by her husband. Gets off to a tense start involving the distant assault, then settles into some illogical and mundane patterns. The final act, however, builds on emotion before slapping you across the face with one hell of an unexpected finish.