04th Feb2015

‘Nurse 3D’ Review

by Joel Harley

Stars: Kathleen Turner, Judd Nelson, Katrina Bowden, Paz de la Huerta, Corbin Bleu, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Eklund, Niecy Nash, Melanie Scrofano, Martin Donovan, Adam Herschman, Katia Peel | Written by Douglas Aarniokoski, David Loughery | Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski

nurse-paz

The Nurse may be in 3D, but that’s not how it was viewed – because if it doesn’t have piranhas, Judge Dredd or murderous miners in it, its really not worth the hassle. In Nurse – which is a much-anticipated thing people wanted to see – a murderous nurse spends her evenings offing adulterous bastard men, like some sort of kinky anti-cheating Punisher. Things get complicated when she befriends newbie colleague Danni (Katrina Bowden), who doesn’t look so kindly upon her man-murdering ways. Melodrama ensues… in 3D!

Part stylish thriller, part steamy European slasher film and all Lionsgate, Nurse takes a strong female cast, promising concept, excellent visuals and frequently clever writing and then promptly wastes the lot of them. A terrible lead performance and sub Robert Rodriguez level directing make Nurse one of the more irritating horror films I’ve ever seen… in 3D! Except not, because, you know, no David Hasselhoff, no need. As the titular nurse, Paz de la Heuerta makes the first half a real chore to watch, her monotone line delivery and dull pout doing nothing for either the character or the film. Compare this with Katharine Isabelle in American Mary, making all the difference in an otherwise bland and overhyped film. A decent performer like Isabelle could have earned Nurse at least an extra star (see also, her recent Torment). As it is, much of the film hangs on de la Huerta’s painful performance, which all but kills it dead.

30 Rock and Tucker and Dale vs Evil star Bowden does a better job as doe-eyed Danni, shouldering the rest of the movie when evil Abby isn’t around. Sadly, as director Douglas Aarniokoski isn’t particularly interested in much more than shooting her in various states of lingere, that doesn’t leave her with a great deal of material to play with. In a film concerned with murdering the hell out of sleazy, cheating men, Nurse spends an awful lot of time leering at Huerta and Bowden (in 3D!) rather than bothering to craft anything worthwhile. There are a few oiled male abdomen though, evening the score slightly. At least the film perks up in the last half hour – its scenes of bloodshed, torture and carnage livening up the action with a truly great fight sequence and some wonderful gore.

Good visuals and a genuinely witty script aside (look out for Niecy Nash, who gets all the big laughs), one can’t help but think that Nurse would have been better off in the hands of prime De Palma or Larry Coen. Aarniokoski manages the gore and the nudity well enough, but everything else feels disappointingly flat. As a sedative, it’ll knock you out faster than Night Nurse.

** 2/5

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