Poor Agnes

Agnes takes Mike prisoner. A shotgun is a girl's best friend.

There’s a lot to be said for a quiet life — a big house with lots of woods and plenty of space would be a dream come true for a lot of people. With a garden and a wood-burning stove you can even be more self-sufficient than most. It’s also a handy setup if you happen to be a serial killer. In Poor Agnes, the titular character (Lora Burke) has just such a house, complete with a dark basement, and supports herself with the money and valuables she scavenges from her victims. It must be hard to hold down a regular job when you’re a sociopathic killer.

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Echoes of the Passed

Liz (or maybe Jo) eyes the old house warily.

Given the popularity of ghost hunting, there’s probably at least ten groups out there setting up their microphones and EMF detectors right now, and they may be closer than you think. In Echoes of the Passed, that group is in a run-down, reputedly haunted house somewhere in England, and they have mixed feelings about the plan to stay overnight and see what they can uncover. Frank (Tony Sands), for instance, is more nervous than he’d like to admit. On the other hand, Fred (Mac McFadden) seems more concerned with dinner.

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The Offer (Dark Ditties Presents)

The host with the most bored-looking nurse you've ever seen,

Imagine you’ve received a mysterious summons to a grand old mansion, along with a check for several thousand dollars. Most of us would probably think it was a scam, despite the money, but you’d be terribly curious, of course. It’s certainly a step up from the Nigerian Prince scam. Maybe you’d even go out to this grand old mansion, just to see what it’s all about. That’s what Gabby (Gemma Gordon) does in The Offer, and she arrives to discover that six other guests like her have already arrived.

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Ultimate Justice

Obligatory cast photo. But don't they look like they're having fun?

“Vivere militare est” is Latin for “To live is to fight”, and it’s both the motto and the inspiration for the name of VME Security, a private security agency run by ex-soldiers Gus (Mark Dacascos) and Hans (Wolfgang Riehm). They handle tough jobs for those clients who can afford their no doubt expensive fees, but when an attempt to resolve a kidnapping ends with two of the VME team dead, Gus decides he’s had enough and persuades Hans that it’s time to sell the company and retire.

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Poster for Faithful. Betrayal is a rough thing to face,

It’s often a very difficult thing to save a marriage, especially if only one partner is bothering to work at it. In Faithful, that one is Lauren (Clarissa Hoffmann), a woman still madly in love with her husband Ron (Ellis Miller), in spite of the fact that he seems nothing but indifferent towards her and is utterly caught up in his relationship with another woman (Sarah Schulte). But the more he drifts away the more determined Lauren is to hang onto him, even though she knows about the affair.

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Nite Nite

The babysitter on the phone (of course). See how big that phone is?

When I was little I had a magic blue rock that would keep the monsters away, because when you’re seven, you tend to take the whole monster thing pretty seriously. It’s worse when it’s the sitter looking out for you instead of mom and dad, because the sitter might not be as good at finding where the bad things are hiding. Certainly the little boy (Brady Bond) in Nite Nite (written and directed by Chad Meisenheimer) has some serious concerns about his usual bedtime ritual.

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It's so touching to see a kid out on his first stakeout with his dad.

Every generation thinks they’re living at the worst possible time for dirty politics and shocking scandals, but of course politics has always been a dirty business and these days it just seems worse because it spreads all over the internet in five seconds and then you can’t get away from it. Still, I have to admit that this last year or so probably has been particularly unpleasant and not just because it seems to be everywhere all the time. In Solutions, though, politics are even dirtier than usual.

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Bye Bye, Baby

Heather realizes she has more to keep her company than just a movie.

It’s hard to find a more iconic beginning to a horror movie than a young woman alone in a house at night. Perhaps the most famous example is that of Drew Barrymore in the original Scream, and Bye Bye, Baby certainly pays homage to that classic scene, as a young woman named Heather (Karina Kolokolchykova) settles in to watch a scary movie (in this case, the equally classic House on Haunted Hill) before being interrupted by a phone call.

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Drew and his mom, who's reminding him once more than he'll never be good enough.

Today there’s a pill to fix nearly anything, even some things we’d barely heard of twenty years ago. Some are truly miracle drugs, allowing people to lead the lives they want, but unfortunately it’s all too easy to hail every new discovery as a miracle, only later discovering that it isn’t quite the magic cure-all it seemed to be. Adderall, for example, seemed like the ultimate solution for ADD or ADHD, allowing students the chance to focus on their studies like they’d never been able to do before.
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The Art of the Prank

Joey Skaggs and his Portofess. Would you confess your sins to this man?

It seems like you can’t turn around these days without running into the term fake news. And while it’s true that it is, paradoxically, even easier to fool people when basically all the information in the world is available on the nearest computer, the whole idea of fake news goes back a lot farther than the guy currently lazing around in the White House. But not all such fakes are created equal. Before Russian hackers and Twitter bots, before Romanian kids were hired to post made-up stories on Facebook, there was Joey Skaggs, the godfather of the media hoax.
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