The Boy (2016)
Oof. I know when they released this they were trying to capitalize on the “Annabelle” craze, but they tried to pack too much into this thing instead of just making a solid murderous doll movie. An American woman gets a job as a nanny to an older couple’s “Boy” — who, as it turns out, is actually a doll. Strange things and spooky coincidences abound, as it seems the doll is possessed. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The twist is, frankly, too ridiculous to believe, and I severely hated the red herring they stuck in there to throw you off. Lauren Cohan deserved better.
Wolf Creek – The Series (Season 1; 2016)
You think it’d be hard to stretch a revenge story across six episodes, but this series managed to do it without me ever feeling bored. John Jarret is back in fine form as Mick Taylor, and Lucy Fry makes a great sparring partner as Eve, the sole survivor of a family Mick targets and kills in episode one. It gets a little messy towards the end and I’m not really a fan of seeing serial killer origin stories, but it had some really choice splatter and I found it enjoyable. I also really appreciated that it felt like a good extension of the original films, and not a reboot of them. I’ll check out season 2 for sure.
Mom and Dad (2017)
I’m planning to watch this one again with a few friends, because I think I’ll enjoy it more with some company. I’ve been curious about this since its plot caused some controversy: after a mysterious signal is broadcast, all parents suddenly experience an uncontrollable desire to murder their children. Yup, even babies. In fact, one of my favorite moments is seeing a ton of dads pressed up against the hospital nursery, staring darkly at their newborns within.
And I loved seeing Selma Blair & Nic Cage together, even if I wished Cage was operating at “peak Cage” 100% of the time he was on screen, and not just in short bursts. What I didn’t really love about it was the faux ‘70s aesthetic and the flashbacks, which took me right out of the film by interrupting the splattery action. Still, there’s a lot of good imagery, and also something really great about watching Cage chase his kids around the house with an electric saw screaming, “SAW’S ON! SAW’S ON!” Plus, I really dug a surprise moment near the end. I’ll give it a second chance to wow me.
Would You Rather (2012)
This is basically a torture porn version of The House on Haunted Hill, in which a sadistic billionaire invites a group of desperate people over for dinner and pits them against each other in a deadly game of “Would you rather?” with the winner taking home enough money that they won’t care what they had to do in order to get it. Jeffrey Combs is, of course, PERFECT as the mad Shepard Lambrick, but even with a few bright spots in the cast (John Heard & Enver Gjokaj) most of them can’t hold their own against his mastery of restraint – especially Brittany Snow as Iris. I also thought the games started out really strong in the terror department, but kinda fizzled out near the end. Still worth a watch just to see Combs do his thing.