Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Nest Review: A Slow Building Creature Feature

Dee Wallace	Dee Wallace	...	Marissa Sarah Navratil	Sarah Navratil	...	Beth Maple Suttles	Maple Suttles	...	Meg Kevin Patrick Murphy	Kevin Patrick Murphy	...	Jack Drez Ryan	Drez Ryan	...	Ashe Blaque Fowler	Blaque Fowler	...	Nick Anna Lynn Holleman	Anna Lynn Holleman	...	Mrs. Jean Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Penny Munroe	Penny Munroe	...	Billie Piper Suttles	Piper Suttles	...	Child at the Window

Release date: July 20, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed By: James Suttles
Written By: Jennifer Trudrung
Starring: Dee Wallace, Sarah Navratil, Kevin Patrick Murphy, Drez Ryan, Blaque Fowler, Anna Lynn Holleman, Penny Munroe, Maple Suttles, and Piper Suttles

When Meg and her mother Beth visit a yard sale, Beth buys her young daughter an adorable stuffed bear, thinking it may help with Meg’s separation anxiety. As children do, she quickly becomes attached to the bear, talking to it and taking it everywhere she goes. However, soon Beth notices that the bear is communicating with Meg and even influencing her behavior. When Meg starts developing hoarding habits, and seems infected by a parasitic creature, things take a turn for the worse. Soon it’s clear there’s something much more nightmarish and sinister to this yard sale toy than anyone could have imagined.

Tamara Hopkins	...	co-producer Mary McNeill	...	executive producer Jennifer L. Ray	...	executive producer James Suttles	...	producer Matthew R. Zboyovski	...	producer
The Nest has a creepy opening that sets the stage perfectly for this psychological creature film.  The strange yard sale, weird bear, and very odd old man is a great way to set up some of the creepier aspects of this film.  And this sense of unease follows throughout the film as you don't quite know when people are turning (or already turned).  The film also has a smart, otherworldly insect sound for when infected people are communicating, which is a nice unsettling touch that is subtle, but quite noticeable.  And as the film progresses and people become more under the strange insect's spell, the characters transform as well.  This seems to be done with some good makeup and subtle character shifts, but it just helps to add to the unease in this film.  And on top of this, the film has some good practical effects for the transformations and some of the injuries, as well as a use of real insects for some of the unsettling creature shots.  It made these scenes much better and I'm glad that the directors decided to use insect costars rather than some noticeable CG.  

But the problem with the Nest is that it does a good amount right, but has some major flaws.  First and foremost, the audio is inconsistent with noticeable cuts and re-records present in the film.  It is more noticeable than normal, with full on new lines in some instances with different background noise than the scene.  Additionally, the film has some inconsistent acting and line delivery, which I imagine was the reason for some of the cut in vocals.  And for the most part, the film has a good slow buildup but also seems to take a while to get where it is going.  The movie could have been sped up in the middle as it really felt like we were idling for a while.  And additionally, although I liked the creature part of this, I feel like it has been done better before.  Check out The Arbors for a creature feature with more dread and a more interesting story.  

The Nest dials up the dread with a slow building story and a focus on unsettling characters and practical insect effects. 
Rent it.

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The Nest is available digitally and on demand on July 20, 2021.  

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