THE NEST (aka THE BEWAILING, 2021)
Directed by James Suttles.
Written by Jennifer Trudrung.
Starring Sarah Navratil, Maple Suttles, Kevin Patrick Murphy, Dee Wallace, Drez Ryan, Blaque Fowler, Anna Lynn Holleman, Penny Munroe
Find out more about this film here!
After buying a raggedy teddy bear at a garage sale from a creepy old man, young Meg (Maple Suttles) begins to form a strong attachment to the bear and then to worrisome mother Beth (Sarah Navratil). Beth is dealing with her own issues involving a past addiction to pills and while she is protective of Meg, she realizes Meg’s unhealthy attachment issues are not helping anything, especially her marriage with Jack (Kevin Patrick Murphy). What Meg’s parents don’t know is that inside of the teddy bear resides a mind-controlling insect creature who reproduces and possesses the minds of people. As members of the family become mindless drones, Meg is prepping Beth to be the host for the hive queen.
I can’t help but think that the seeds of this twisted and dark little flick come from someone buying a teddy bear at a garage sale and having it infested with bedbugs. This is one of those movies that is going to get under your skin and make you itch long after the credits. The stakes are relatively low, as it focuses on the destruction of a single family, but THE NEST is a fun little film that tells its story well and knows how to make an impact utilizing all kings of buggy horrors and gore. THE NEST doesn’t necessarily break new ground, but it does tell a tale that’s pretty much projected from the beginning and handles all of the beats wonderfully and wickedly. I’m actually kind of surprised at the chances THE NEST took. It doesn’t hold back on the gore or the shocks.
I was also impressed at the effects, which are pretty gross and a plenty. I don’t know if a real bug was used in making this film or maybe the CG is just that good, but once the critter does emerge from the teddy bear, from it’s wiggly feelers to it’s erratically moving legs, it looks damn real.
Much of Beth’s inner turmoil and worry about her daughter’s well being and her marriage is depicted through her dreams. While some of these dreams are effective, I feel that the film does go to this well a few times too many. Other than that, I had a blast with THE NEST. It’s a low fi tiny creature feature using convincing pod person elements and a whole lot of slime and gore. From it’s potent ending, to all of the warped stuff that came before it, THE NEST can be nestled in between other effective doll horror films like CAVEAT, WILLY’S WONDERLAND, and BENNY LOVES YOU and with CHUCKY on the way, it looks like 2021 is the year for creepy dolls and monstrous stuffed animals.