a dramatic exercise in ghost movies without a single ghost

Playing with the genres and some of their conventions can be interesting, even with the risk that there are viewers who are disenchanted to see themselves before something other than what has been promised, or they themselves hoped. It’s easy to feel disappointed in believing that you’ve been toyed with, or that you’ve been denied something you thought was clear and instead received something that doesn’t fit your preconceived mold. But there will never be an easier criticism than criticize a movie for what it is not doing than for what it actually does.

All this is to praise a little gem called ‘The Nest‘ that precisely he could be accused of being deceitful and cheating with his story and with the storytelling tools he employs, implying that it is a different movie than it really is. Presenting itself in its early stages, this film that we find in the Prime Video catalog seems to point clearly towards the cinema of ghosts and haunted houses. And, at the core, it’s that movie, but there’s really no ghosts on the horizon.

A huge and clautrophobic mansion

‘The Nest’ transports us directly to the eighties, where a married couple, played by Jude Law Y Carrie Coon, launches himself into a challenge that will notably alter the stability of their lives. He is a British businessman full of ambitionsinspired by all the promises of the American dream and high achievers who bet on themselves, and decides bring your whole family to the UK to hunt for business opportunities.

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The move of both parents and their two children is, nothing less, than to a huge English country house, full of history but also of a disturbing aura. the filmmaker Sean Durkinscreenwriter and film director, knows create an oppressive atmosphere around this family, using elements typical of haunted house cinema to show the slow but progressive degeneration that is taking place. But don’t expect literal ghosts, just a stormy anguish and an inappropriate suffocation of spaces so wide and the comfortable life they are living.

In the end, the true ghost of ‘The Nest’ is that of a marriage in a clear state of deterioration. The couple shows up increasingly distant and increasingly hostile to each other while he tries to wrap his head around the promises of a better life and imminent success. Law’s character clearly falls into that prototype shark mentality, which the film shamelessly points out and trashes, while Coon’s goes breaking down under the pressure of changing status and the need to aim for more and more.

‘The Nest’: deliciously twisted

In many respects, ‘The Nest’ could pass as the serious version -although not much- of the episode of The Simpsons where the family moves out of town to work for Frank Scorpio, in a more luxurious and supposedly idyllic setting, but really toxic at heart. Durkin builds an impressive tension around this conflict, with occasional bits of twisted humor that show the sharpness of the speech he wants to tell.

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The film manages to sustain itself beyond its ambitions thanks, once again, to that use of elements of supernatural cinema even though it doesn’t really explode in that direction -which makes it an interesting double session with ‘Spencer’, a film that is also spooky but ambiguous in the supernatural-, in addition to formidable performances by Law and Coon.

Those scenes they share are where the film fully reveals its cards and fully draws its bile, becoming truly exquisite as well as cleverly Machiavellian. Even if it doesn’t end up being the movie you thought you’d guess at first, ‘The Nest’ is delicious being the movie it wants to be.

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