Reaching Out – The Nesting (1981)

As far as haunted house movies go, The Nesting will not be remembered as one of the better ones to make it to the big screen. While it does try to do something a little different, the film cannot decide which track it wants to stay on resulting in a viewing experience that eventually tires out its audience.

If there is one thing that a haunted house movie should have or even the horror genre in general, it is providing those watching it with a few scares and those were sadly missing from this picture. The scariest thing about this experience was wondering if it would ever end as it just continued to meander on and on, especially during its second half where it just seemed to slow itself down more than the lackadaisical pace it had originally set itself. A lot of this can be chalked up to the script and story which needed a stronger direction and if the makers of this film had relied less on the dreams and flashbacks and instead used more first-person accounts like during the last act with John Carradine, it would have added more nuance and gravitas to the proceedings.

Additionally, the lead character as played by Robin Groves was not a very sympathetic character, whether that too was due to the writing or Groves herself can be decided by those who view this picture but there is also the fact that the supporting cast other than Carradine simply were not very good. Most of those from the boyfriend to Carradine’s grandson played by Michael Lally was annoying with the latter overacting more than once or simply being not very good, perhaps realizing what a dog the movie was and not caring to give it any effort. Whatever the case, the cast was not up to par and it made watching this film harder than it had any right to be.

There are a lot of good haunted house films like The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, The Changeling and so forth. The Nesting is not one of those. Some might find a few tidbits throughout to love but there simply is not enough good strung together to make sitting through this worth it.

2 out of 5

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