Amoral anti-genius Andy Milligan turns in his most disciplined, conventional horror film with Carnage. Gone are the hard-bitten street hustlers he usually casts, replaced with clean-cut drama students who were mistaken if they thought this was their big break. Maybe Milligan had the same misconception, since he's more careful with pacing and plotting than before, but this is the same director who brought us shrieking gorefests like Bloodthirsty Butchers and Torture Dungeon, so there's no shortage of transparently fake decapitations and disembowelments for the faithful. Milligan gleefully rips off The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist, but hallmarks of his own cinematic obsessions arise as well, most notably in a throwaway scene involving one character's cold, insensitive mother. While Carnage is too hokey to be frightening, Milligan packs in one outrageous shock sequence after another and holds the audience's attention better than his often tedious (but more personal) earlier films. Carnage is truly god-awful but enjoyable in a way that the rest of his shrill, misanthropic oeuvre is not.