Susan Granger's weekly DVD update
Cinematic scares abound during this pre-Halloween weekend.
From Troma, there's Daniel Boyd's "Chillers," in which five lonely strangers swap ghost stories while stranded at a rural bus depot, ignorant of the fact that they'll soon be transported beyond their wildest fears.
From Long Island filmmaker Michael Shershenovich, there's "Bloody Christmas," in which police are searching for a child murderer while a "has-been" `80s action movie star fantasizes about the meaning of Christmas as he plays Santa on a public access TV show.
Stephen Moyer ("True Blood") stars in Darren Lynn Bousman's "The Barrens," as a father who takes his family into the dense pine forests of New Jersey where they encounter the Jersey Devil, a winged beast spawned 400 years ago by Satan himself.
Rudyard Kipling's "Mark of the Beast" follows two people as they try to save a friend who, after defacing a religious shrine, becomes cursed by a faceless silver leper.
And before you dismiss the absurd title "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," consider that our 16th president was a strong outdoorsman, quite capable of tossing an axe at the blood-sucking undead.
If you prefer comedy, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley team up for doomsday in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," as a 70-mile-wide asteroid catapults toward Earth. And there's "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," filled with frantic, throwaway gags and self-conscious scenes.
Michelle Williams plays a married Toronto copywriter who deceives her easy-going husband (Seth Rogen) when she becomes fixated by an edgy/artist neighbor (Luke Kirby) in writer/director Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz."
PICKS OF THE WEEK: For family viewing, "Crooked Arrows" is an authentic, uplifting movie about the Native American game of lacrosse, starring Brandon Routh ("Superman Returns"). For adults, Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and their cohorts entertain as exotic dancers in "Magic Mike," a sleazy, raunchy R-rated beefcake fest.