While 1981 proved to be a huge year in the name of horror, projecting some classic or cult films in the genre, The Nesting had not even clipped this reviewers radar.
You could argue that a prime reason for this was down to it being quickly shafted into the video nasties category in the UK upon its release, subjecting the film into obscurity.
However, I found upon watching the film which is currently available on Tubi, that obscure depiction may be a correct label to have been assigned to it. Not because of its graphic nature, but more for the curious tale that is told by writer/director Armand Weston.
The story centres on Lauren Cochran (Robin Groves), a novelist who suffers from agoraphobia. So, on the advice from her doctor, moves to the country and rents out an old mansion, which she is strangely drawn towards, in the hopes that it will overcome her ailment.
The oddity doesn’t reside there however, as a series of bizarre events occur once Lauren arrives, including the encounter she has with the mansion’s owner, Colonel Lebrun (John Carradine – House of Frankenstein) suffers a stroke the moment he lies eyes on her.
Compounding her troubles further, Lauren starts to experience some deeply unsettling dreams of women lounging around the house. It is when one of these women appears to her during the day, that Lauren’s world starts spiralling, throwing her into confusion over what is real or not. Is she losing her mind or is there more to her visions than they seem?
Not content on resting on her laurels, Lauren turns sleuth to uncover the secrets of the mansion, butin doing so, starts to unearth some unsavoury characters, and may send her over the brink of sanity.
The problem I have with The Nesting is that it struggles to be a certain kind of movie but it struggles under the weight of its premise. Agorophobia is a ripe subject that has potential to inflict a deep horror, drawn from the troubles that the human mind can produce. It’s a subject that has been done before and since, Repulsion and Copycat to name but a few.
It’s a muddled script that gets too clouded and surreal to follow, and with some tighter direction, could have been a better film. As such, it may continue to wallow in anonymity as a result.
- Saul Muerte