"Final Girls"This fun horror spoof from 2015 has a great cast, including Nina Dobrev from "The Vampire Diaries." It follows teenager Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends after Max reluctantly agrees to attend a special screening of a cult horror film her late mother starred in. The theater accidentally gets set ablaze, and Max and her friends wake up in the woods. Soon, they realize they are living in the movie alongside the characters, including the character played by Max's mom. These lovable millennials must obey 80s horror movie tropes to survive the Jason Vorhees-like killer stalking them, even as Max tries desperately to save her mom's character. It's an affectionate nod to 80s horror movies that is both funny, fun to watch, and surprisingly emotional. Watch it on Amazon video or Vudu, or catch a repeat showing on the cable channel Freeform this month. Scary level: Mild. Laughter level: High.
"Happy Death Day"I admit it. When I saw the preview for this movie last October, I thought it looked lame. I still went to the theater to see it anyway (don't judge me), and I'm glad I did. It's great! Theresa "Tree" Gelbman wakes up on her birthday, only to be killed by a masked assailant hours later. Instead of dying, she wakes up, destined to repeat the same day over and over again — similar to Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." Tree is a wholly unlikable character, and you kind of enjoy watching her die in inventive ways (don't worry if you're squeamish - there's no gore, and very few jump scares). But as Tree begins to realize what a horrible person she was, you can't help but change gears and start to root for the girl. Women, especially, will understand a lot of the humor and girl jokes, but overall, this movie is just fun to watch. Watch it on Amazon video or Vudu, or Cinemax this month. Scary level: Mild (it's rated PG-13 after all). Laughter level: Moderate.
"Tucker and Dale vs Evil"This one stars one of my favorite actors, Alan Tudyk, so you just know it's going to be good. Tudyk and Tyler Labine play a pair of mild-mannered, well-meaning hillbillies on a fishing trip who are mistaken for killers by a group of clueless college students headed to their own cabin in the woods. When Allison, one of the college co-eds, gets startled, hits her head, and falls into the lake, Tucker and Dale jump in to save her, but her friends believe they are trying to kill her. Hilarity ensues. Catch this movie on Netflix, Amazon video, Hulu, or Vudu. Scary level: Moderate; Gore level: High; Laughter level: Off the charts.
***Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series of books published by Harper Impulse. Learn more about her books at www.angelacampbellonline.com.