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  • Never Hike Alone

    Never Hike Alone

    ★★★

    Initially, this Friday the 13th fan film seems like it might test patience, even with a runtime that's under an hour long, but once Jason shows up, it remains exciting until its conclusion. Better than several actual entries in the series...

    53/100

  • Lira's Forest

    Lira's Forest

    ★★½

    Pretty production design in the service of not much...

    43/100

  • Victor Crowley

    Victor Crowley

    ★★★

    Sitcom-level drama and ridiculously over the top violence means this is just another Hatchet film. If anything this takes itself even less seriously than before, which is a good thing in something that aims to be juvenile. The crass Laura Ortiz shines among the ensemble. 

    50/100

  • Creep 2

    Creep 2

    ★★★½

    Mark Duplass gives it his all in this superior found footage sequel. The first film’s slim concept is inverted, resulting in another tense two-hander that shouldn’t work but does. Less scary than the first film, perhaps, but no less captivatingly strange. 

    63/100

  • Housewife

    Housewife

    ★★★

    Definitely not the film that the title would lead one to expect...  Evrenol doubles down on the nightmare logic of Baskin, his debut feature, here. A woman wanders through a “maze of dreams” fueled both by her initiation into a cult and her troubled past. The gory results prize the intensity of images above strict narrative logic, prompting easy comparisons to Argento at his most demented. 

    54/100

  • Kaleidoscope

    Kaleidoscope

    ★★★

    Assured British thriller involving the hazy aftermath and sloppy coverup of a murder. The more it goes on, the more uncertainty enters the scenario, until one is left questioning the film’s very premise. That this never grows tiresome is a testament to the strong performances and Rupert Jones’ steady directorial hand.

    58/100

  • Cold Ground

    Cold Ground

    ★★★

    Essentially Blair Witch set in the Alps, this French found footage film plods along like most of its genre before delivering an extended final act that offers slightly more suspense than most of its ilk. Typical found footage frustrations exist here, including too-brief glimpses of the monsters, gory discoveries that are barely discernible, and mythology that doesn't exactly add up. Still, there's no denying that there are effective moments here (a gross-out impromptu surgery being the highlight) that make up for a relative lack of imagination.

    51/100

  • Jungle

    Jungle

    ★★★

    Straightforward but reasonably gripping endurance test set in the Bolivian jungles. Radcliffe at times seems to be attempting to outdo DiCaprio in The Revenant, performing self-surgery, chewing on wildlife, and generally gnashing his teeth through it all. Thankfully, McLean eschews most of Iñárritu's pretensions and mystical nods, focusing instead of the pragmatic elements of survival. Enjoyable for what it is...

    57/100

  • The Endless

    The Endless

    ★★★½

    I'm loath to spoil this for fans of Benson and Moorhead, so I'll withhold detailed thoughts... Still, they are clearly serious-minded auteur filmmakers, and with The Endless, their third and most emotionally satisfying feature to date, they help to clarify their vision. While not the gobsmacking metatextual mindfuck of Resolution, their remarkably ambitious debut, this both marks an explicit return to that film's concerns and serves as an extension of Spring's handwringing over the burdens of being trapped in a…

  • Tragedy Girls

    Tragedy Girls

    ★★★

    A satire of social media hunger as a form of bloodlust that’s not quite as clever as it thinks it is. Still, this largely works in its efforts to retrofit Clueless as a slasher film, primarily because its leads’ chemistry convinces. Their friendship is the only effective emotional hook here, which helps their immorality to go unchallenged. Ultimately, the tone feels a bit off (this neither grows gleeful nor tragic as it wears on), but perhaps the notion that nothing really matters except our attention fits its Twitter-fueled worldview. 

    51/100

  • Mayhem

    Mayhem

    ★★½

    Essentially a retread of The Belko Project, this slick office brawler concerns a viral outbreak that leads to coworker slaughter. The specifics of the virus are set out in the lengthy expository sequence, yet despite information that the virus causes all sorts of arrests in impulse control, most of the true fun is confined to the background actions of the extras. What remains hits the same beats of any other "wild" revenge film, and is mostly concerned with a somewhat…

  • Frazier Park Recut

    Frazier Park Recut

    ★★

    This found footage thriller is likely to get some easy laughs from anyone who’s ever spent time on a hopeless film set, but it offers little beyond that. Like that of the film within a film that it chronicles, the premise here (creepy actor slowly sows discord among the crew) is too thin to sustain feature length. 

    36/100