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Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Feb. 25

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 ■ Bad Dreams/Visiting Hours

Bad Dreams opens in a ’70s commune whose charismatic leader preaches peace, love—and mass suicide. Thirteen years later, the sole survivor, Cynthia (Jennifer Rubin), awakens from a coma in a mental hospital. The group therapy meant to help her “fit into the ’80s” isn’t the only problem: she’s stalked by the dead cult leader and menaced by an authority figure more sinister still. Bad Dreams is pared with ’80s slasher flick Visiting Hours on Blu-ray.

The Summit

In 2008, 11 climbers died on K2 in the Himalayas. As the documentary The Summit states, on average one of four climbers die on the slopes of the world’s second tallest mountain, most of them on the way down. Inflated with an excess of optimism, some climbers don’t approach the descent with sufficient preparation and seriousness. It’s not a high-altitude party. Interviews with survivors of the ’08 climb punctuate starkly beautiful photography of the cloud-shrouded peaks.

Narco Cultura

Shaul Schwarz’s documentary captures disturbing images of the Mexican drug cartel carnage. Perhaps more chilling is Schwarz’s exploration of the “narcocorrido” musical subculture. The bloodthirsty songs, music videos and action flicks (produced in the U.S. for young Hispanic audiences and sold at Walmart) celebrate bloodletting and elevate killers as heroic outlaws, embodiments of potency. Schwarz interviews Mexican police, who live in fear; gangsters, some of them troubled by conscience; and activists, protesting for a better future.