Starring: Ross Noble, Shauna MacDonald, Richard Foster-King, Steve Wall
Director: Dennis Bartok
Dana is a happy woman who is close to her daughter and husband, and lives an active life as a coach. But when she is hit by a car, she finds her life unravelling in her hospital room as she starts to see and experience strange and terrifying things. Is she seeing things or is there really an evil spirit visiting her at night?
Nails is a UK horror, and bases part of it’s scares on the fact that the victim is stuck in one place. She can’t move because of her injuries, and she can’t scream because of damage to her throat. She’s stuck waiting for the creature that lives in the closet decides to take her. That is, if she isn’t hallucinating the whole thing… It’s a really great premise for a film, and on the whole, though it’s quiet, it works pretty well. As she sees things on her laptop, like videos of her husband cheating on her, you wonder what exactly is screwing with her head. But on the whole, I feel like we know the thing is real, it’s just that no one else believes her.
Her nurse is played by a very put upon Ross Noble, who has some really awkward lines, and who does a great job with them. It’s a funny film in that sense. There’s the head of the hospital and one nurse, which is very clearly bullshit, since the hospital is shown to be pretty huge. There’s a lot of work that the nurse has to do, from caring for patients to fixing things, all for minimum wage. It just feels a little unbelievable.
The film also goes from being quite methodical and quiet to suddenly breaking into action in the last scenes, which make it feel like that last section should be in a different film. And the story of why she’s being haunted feels flimsy somehow.
So it’s not a perfect film. But horrors often aren’t and it certainly doesn’t detract all that much from the joys of the film as a whole. I liked the concept and the way this film went about it all a lot. I think the idea that you can see something horrible but can’t move or scream, and that no one else sees it is really chilling. And I think the creature that she sees is quite well realised too. Hospitals are scary places and the idea that they’re haunted, and the story behind this haunting, is pretty cool.
See It If: you’ve ever had to stay overnight in a hospital… a great concept that’s flawed but essentially quite fun in it’s execution.