By GLENN TOLLE
Starring Emmaline Friederichs, David Sapiro and Carly Rae James Sauer
Written by Christopher A. Micklos
Directed by Christopher A. Micklos and Jay Sapiro
My little sister is just starting to get babysitting offers. She’s really excited and is looking forward to making some money over the summer. What she’s not looking forward to is staying in the houses of strangers, all alone, at night. And after seeing THE NURSERY (2018), I don’t blame her.
In THE NURSERY Ranae (Madeline Conway), a quiet young woman wanting to make some money gets a baby sitting gig. She settles in for an uneventful night, but is soon interrupted by unexplained occurrences. Scared and angry, she calls her friend Calista (Emmaline Friederichs). Calista then comes over with two of her obnoxious friends, Jeremy (Claudio Parrone Jr.) and Grace (Carly Sauer). At first none of them believe Ranae when she alludes to the strange goings on in the house, chalking it up to a recent trauma she suffered. But they soon become believers as the paranormal disturbances becoming increasingly disturbing and blood begins to bubble from freshly slit arteries.
THE NURSERY takes a long time to pick up steam. The first 40 minutes of the film are a drudge that leaves you almost too exhausted to watch everything that occurs after that. Most of the acting varies from poor to decent and the cinematography and plot are no different. Add in an unrealistic over reliance on swearing in the first half of the film, and an extremely long and painful make out scene, and you get a little horror film that’s watchable, but only if you’re paying half attention and doing something else.
There was very little about THE NURSERY that didn’t elicit a “meh” reaction from me. The kills were uninventive, yet stylish and practically executed, the ghost bore a striking resemblance to almost every J-horror phantom that’s crawled out of a TV screen, and the ending (which was my favorite part) was moderately moving.
The two aspects of THE NURSERY that I really enjoyed were the cameo of THE DEVIL BAT (the infamous poverty row picture starring Bela Lugosi) and the character of Ray (Marco Lama). Ray is Ranae’s paranormal obsessed younger brother who aids in uncovering the story behind the haunting. The character of Ray reminded me of myself when I was a teenager. I hope I see Marco Lama in more films. He doesn’t have all that much screen time, and he’s only shown through a computer monitor, but his performance was by far the strongest.
THE NURSERY might not win a lot of awards, but it should certainly win one for effort. THE NURSERY may be uneven but it has a lot of heart.
THE NURSERY hits VOD on June 5th.