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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Movie Review - "The Nest" (2021)

Dee Wallace Gets Involved with Familial Body Horror in “The Nest” (2021) 

Not to be confused with Eli Cantor’s (AKA Gregory A. Douglas) 1980 horror novel about killer cockroaches The Nest — recently republished in the Paperbacks from Hell series — nor its 1987 movie adaptation, director James Suttles’ The Nest is a familial — and rather familiar — fear-fare film about a recovering addict mother, her jerk of a husband, their suddenly depressed young daughter and her new used teddy bear, and their kindly neighbor. 

That teddy bear, obtained at a yard sale hosted by a creepy older gent, houses something horrific that drives the family apart and the story together.

Beth (Sarah Navratil) nearly lost her life and as a result became addicted to painkillers, which cost her her teaching job. Her husband Jack (Kevin Patrick Murphy) and their elementary-school-age daughter Meg (Maple Suttles) stood by her, though the family was forced to move to a deceased relative’s house to survive financially. 

Their neighbor is helpful Marissa (fright-fare favorite Dee Wallace of
The Howling and Cujo fame), who babysat Beth as a child and who now looks after Meg. When Meg is gifted with a used teddy bear at a yard sale nearby, the family begins a downward spiral that involves gaslighting, guilt tripping, paranoia, and a creepy, malevolent force that seeks to increase its numbers.

Deftly directed by Suttles and wonderfully acted by the cast members, The Nest offers a brooding atmosphere and a heck of a chilling finale. The special effects and creature effects are both solid. The film bogs down a bit at times, though, with Lifetime-style drama, and it feels a bit long at an hour and 40 minutes. Recommended for fans of Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style elements and Cronenbergian body horror buffs, The Nest can feel like a bit of a slow burn, but it rewards viewers with a memorable payoff.

The Nest, from 4DigitalMedia, is now available on digital, On Demand, and DVD. 

Reviewed by Joseph Perry

The Nest
Directed by: James Suttles
Written by: Jennifer Trudrung
Producer by: Mary McNeill and Jennifer L. Ray
Genre: Horror
Starring: Dee Wallace, Sarah Navratil, Kevin Patrick Murphy, and Maple Suttles
Runtime: 100 minutes
Rated: NR
Release Date: July 20, 2021 from 4DigitalMedia

Joseph Perry is one of the hosts of When It Was Cool’s exclusive Uphill Both Ways podcast and Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast (decadesofhorror.com/category/classicera/). He also writes for When It Was Cool (whenitwascool.com), the film websites Diabolique Magazine (diaboliquemagazine.com), Gruesome Magazine (gruesomemagazine.com), The Scariest Things (scariesthings.com), Ghastly Grinning (ghastlygrinning.com), and Horror Fuel (horrorfuel.com), and film magazines Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope (videoscopemag.com) and Drive-In Asylum (etsy.com/shop/GroovyDoom)

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