09th Aug2021

‘The Nest’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Dee Wallace, Sarah Navratil, Kevin Patrick Murphy, Drez Ryan, Blaque Fowler, Anna Lynn Holleman, Penny Munroe, Maple Suttles, Piper Suttles | Written by Jennifer Trudrung | Directed by James Suttles

The horror genre obviously hasn’t had enough movies about bees. You’d think Candyman would have started a trend (and The Nest seems to have picked the right year to be released if the Candyman remake ever appears!) but there has been little since. There were a few sci-fi giant killer bee types before the 90s and a few SyFy giant killer bee types after the 90s, as well as the surprisingly great Stung in 2015 but I was happy to see The Nest appear.

I will say from the outset, don’t go expecting a killer bee movie. It can be debated whether the creatures here are bees at all but they share plenty of similarities so I’m going with it.

After a drug addiction she is now recovering from, Beth has lost her job and is moving to a new place to live with her husband, Jack and her young daughter Meg. Hoping the change will help start things fresh, things take a turn for the worse when Meg suffers a seizure and develops extreme separation anxiety to her mum. She also clings hold of her new (well second hand and bought at a yard sale from a strange old man) teddy bear ‘Ricky’ (who calls their teddy bear Ricky?!) but is this the mothers fault or is something more sinister happening.

There’s actually a good story in there somewhere but The Nest doesn’t produce it. A woman trouble by her addictive past can’t bare to leave her daughter and therefore producing problems for her daughter sounds like something that could easily be moulded together with something odd and supernatural. Maybe something similar to The Babadook. Unfortunately The Nest becomes a bit of a mess and losing any sense it has of being a powerful story. At times it seems to be going down the body horror route, which may have been a good way to go. The scenes in which it shows that off the most are actually shocking. Maybe it’s just me, because body horror does make me squirm more than anything else, but these scenes did get to me. The effects were well done and it was truly grotesque at times with a helpful dose of good sound editing. Much more of this cool imagery was needed.

The acting is okay, there’s a great use of the blank stare at times but when scenes are needed to be more serious the performances go a little over the top. Dee Wallace (Cujo, The Howling, Critters) plays one of the lead roles so horror fans will no doubt enjoy here part. While elsewhere by far the most natural performance came from Drez Ryan as the school counsellor.

The Nest is a slow movie and when something slow doesn’t really hit a big pay off after over 100 minutes, it’s really frustrating. When the end credits rolled I felt like much of the movie wasn’t explained or at best, I just didn’t understand it. A personal annoyance was that this was set at Christmas but for no reason whatsoever, so I can’t even give it a bonus mark for being a Christmas movie. The Nest falls into the ‘what could have been’ category and never lives up to it’s promise of a twisted but intriguing body horror.

** 2/5

The Nest is out now, in the US, on DVD and Digital.


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