ByDarren Lucas, writer at Creators.co
Film Critic
Darren Lucas

Director: Patrick Rea

Writer: Patrick Rea, Kendal Sinn (Screenplay)

Starring: Erin McGrane, Meg Saricks, Emily Boresow, Sally Spurgeon, Joicie Appell, Mark Ridgway, Aaron Laue, Ben Jeffrey, Michelle Davidson

Plot: The Maguire family is forced to take sudden refuge in a seemingly abandoned storm cellar from a deadly tornado.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Good Concept Idea

Story: Nailbiter starts with a storm warning before introducing us to Jennifer (Saricks) who is used to getting things she wants from school. Next we meet Janet (McGrane) part of the AA trying to clean herself up before her husband returns from his tour of duty. With a storm coming to the town Janet wants to take her kids Jennifer, Alice (Boresow) and Sally (Spurgeon) to the airport to make sure they are the first ones there when their father gets home.

The family finds themselves as the mercy of a tornado and break into someone’s storm shelter for safety as the tornado rips through the house above. After the tornado blows over the family find themselves stuck in the storm shelter but things take a turn when one of them gets attacked trying to get out. The family must work together to escape when the owners of the family are hiding a secret.

Nailbiter is a tale of two things one I like the over I hate. Let us start with what I liked, the idea of becoming trapped during a storm works well also adds potential realism to the story. The creatures works well with the whole weather changes people and also feels slightly fresh for the horror genre. Now for the negative, one of my big pet hates in horror is going somewhere or doing something you really didn’t need to do. This film puts our family in a position they really didn’t need to be in, they could and any responsible parent would have kept their children at home during a tornado problem. Add in to this we get the problem where the family could have just carried on driving because the tornado was behind them. The tornado goes over the shelter but does NO DAMAGE to the house, really? And finally why would you run to the shelter instead of drive to the house. Ok enough of the negatives let’s look at the good again, the whole cult like community works nicely but I think the strongest part of this film is you really don’t know what the creatures will be. I think this film is a real miss mash that really could have been brilliant but shouldn’t be looked at negatively. (6/10)

Actor Review

Erin McGrane: Janet Maguire is the mother of the family, she is recovering from an alcohol problem but has been clean for six months. She has to keep her family safe against an unknown enemy after they get caught in the middle of a tornado. Erin does fill the parent role well but never really shines. (5/10)

Meg Saricks: Jennifer Maguire is the eldest daughter of the family who has to look strong to her younger sisters, all while showing her ability to use what she can find. Meg is meant to become the star of the show but doesn’t show enough to make her a powerful enough leading star. (5/10)

Joicie Appell: Mrs Shurman is the old lady who lives in the house along with the creatures who are hungry after a storm. Joicie does a solid job as the leader of the creatures but doesn’t get enough screen time to give away enough. (5/10)

Support Cast: Nailbiter has a mix of supporting characters, we have the younger two daughters who really don’t shine, the creatures all work well but it is the members of the community that needed more time to show how this storm idea works.

Director Review: Patrick Rea – Patrick really did give us a good idea for horror, it may have a few negatives but the positives all work well for the film. (7/10)

Horror: Nailbiter fills the horror check list well by creating isolation, a mysterious creature and putting a small group in real danger. (8/10)

Settings: Nailbiter uses isolation for the setting with weather affecting it, but it also makes everything look like an area you could simply drive passed. (8/10)

Special Effects: Nailbiter has solid effects for the creatures but as we only see them in glances it all works to keep the mystery. (8/10)

Suggestion: Nailbiter is one for the horror fans to try, I think you may get rewarded with a gem but don’t expect brilliance. (Horror Fans Try)

Best Part: The film not being afraid who it kills.

Worst Part: Did they need to go?

Believability: I do think it is not believable but I do like how it has a feeling it could be real. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: Fear will surface

Overall: Nailbiter is a surprise package of a horror film that has a lot of potential that doesn’t all shine through.

Rating 60

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