Nursery, The; When You Only Deliver A Filmmaking Exercise
Nursery, The. Film Details.
Writer: Christopher A. Micklos
Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Release Format: VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 87 min
When Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, a run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror.
The Nursery is a supernatural horror movie about Ranae, her past, her babysitting night and a vengeful demon. The Nursery is written and directed by Christopher A. Micklos and co-directed by Jay Sapiro.
From the Press Release:
When Ranae, a college student babysits for a family with a tragic history, she finds herself stalked by a sinister presence and haunted by ghosts from her own past. Soon, she and her friends must confront the angry, evil spirit hunting them down one-by-one on a deliberate march towards its ultimate prey.
Emmaline Friederichs, Madeline Conway, and Carly Rae James Sauer star in the spookfest of the Summer The Nursery, available on VOD June 5 and on DVD August 7 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Emmaline Friederichs as Calista
David Sapiro as Roman
Carly Rae James Sauer as Grace
Madeline Conway as Ranae
Marco Lama as Ray
Deanna Sapiro as Tanya
Claudio Parrone Jr. as Jeremy
Nadia P. Horner as Rose
I wanted to admire The Nursery. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a cat-and-mouse home invasion thriller but what I got was an undertaking to blend it up with a villain that reminded me of Samara from The Ring. I mean, it could’ve been impressive and at times the movie was trying to exceed itself by the suspenseful scenes but it didn’t turn out as efficient as it could…
Let’s talk about the acting here. I wasn’t affected at all by its protagonist and she struggled most of the time to deliver her lines as genuine as she could; there wasn’t any spark in her eyes, to begin with. She isn’t a bad actress, she just needs to practice and I think the creators behind The Nursery just preferred to test out some great traveling shots, unusual angles, and ideas other than concentrating on the acting and directing the actress instead. In these low budget character-driven narratives, directors should devote more time to their cast. It should be rule number one from my book.
There were some acting chops that felt natural, principally brought out by Claudio Parrone Jr.’s Jeremy which is the ordinary jock who gets dragged in this story by his stereotypical girlfriend and her friend without believing in any ghosts or spirits and calling out names at them for believing. His character wasn’t at all interesting but his performance was genuine enough to bring rhythm and life in their cast ensemble scenes.
The major problem I had with The Nursery was the pacing. I wasn’t sure if the issue was the editing but I do think there’s a lot at stake with the directing as well. There are a bunch of moments where the characters drag out the suspense scenes just to fill some gap. Usually, it functions when there’s an eerie music that pushes out the visuals but in The Nursery, every single suspense scene felt dragging, annoying and its silent didn’t lead out the excitement and the adrenaline rush. You keep hoping that something will arise and when it does, you’re not that interested anymore. It’s a tremendous problem in horror movies when the director and editor can’t harmonize with the horror material. In The Nursery, it happens a lot and deceives the outcome – which is surprisingly efficient at times…
The Nursery feels like a filmmaking exercise. Micklos and Sapiro do seem to have a love for the genre with the capability to build a macabre setting and a tribute to Asian horror but they neglect to deliver a love letter. Instead, they express a « we’re trying, sorry if it’s not good enough » letter. It is tolerable, sure, but when the horror element is somehow lost in the editing room or the director’s point of view, maybe they should exercise before trying out a feature film.
The Nursery may advertise itself as a sinister tale of a babysitter and a demon lurking around a house but its huge rhythm problems, uninspired characters, and their stupid choices deliver a mildly-entertaining horror ghost story.