A woman and her three teenage daughters ignore severe storm warnings and travel cross county to pick up their husband and father who is returning after a long operations stint abroad for the armed services. Soon they are forced to take refuge in a seemingly abandoned house until the storm passes.
Nailbiters returns to old school horror filmmaking, drawing on brief glimpses of monsters lurking in the dark, atmospheric music scores that seamlessly shift the scenes from serene to sinister, and build tightly wound suspense.
Now, bearing in mind that this is a low budget movie, the effects are surprisingly good with passable CGI, largely helped by some slick editing, and some really impressive creature effects.
The only major negative is the story, which feels a little directionless and confused. They’ve tried to squeeze in too many ideas, and included some frankly irrelevant snippets of back-story and side characters. As these are not fully utilized, explored or wrapped up, they just feel messy and cluttered. The acting of the victim family is okay, at times even good but the rest of the supporting actors are a little wooden, although this is easily overlooked due to the films merits.
The ending is unoriginal and, to be honest, a bit cheesy but I loved it. It’s so simple, but somehow exciting, and left me in anticipation for the sequel it will probably never get.
Overall, Nailbiters has some solid groundwork and first-rate production quality. If the story was more focused and the dialogue sharper Nailbiters could have really been a standout movie. However, I suspect this film will good largely unnoticed, which is a shame because it’s a highly entertaining, independent monster movie.