The Nest (Il nido) (2019)
Directed by: Roberto De Feo | 109 minutes | horror | Actors: Francesca Cavallin, Ginevra Francesconi, Justin Korovkin, Maurizio Lombardi, Elisabetta De Vito, Valentina Bartolo, Cristina Golotta, Roberto Accornero, Carlina Torta, Fabrizio Odetto, Troy James, Elia Francesco Barbero, Gabriele Falsetta, Gianmaria Martini, Massimo Rigo, Edoardo Rossi, Carlo Vallic
Why reinvent the wheel? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The foregoing sayings are very appealing to Roberto De Feo. In his feature film debut, the director dutifully ticks all the boxes in the horror genre. Desolate mansions, squeaky doors and strange families? Check, check and double check! Is there something wrong with that? No definitely not. Especially not if you use these clichés as cleverly as De Feo does in his first feature film ‘The Nest’.
‘The Nest’ is all about family secrets. In a secluded villa lives a family with rather strange habits. Think of corporal punishment and cult-like traditions. You do not want these people as neighbors, that should be clear! There’s a reason this family retires to a remote country house.
Knowing as little as possible about this film makes a viewing all the more interesting. The Feo’s greatest asset is creating a gloomy ambiance. You feel that something is not right and that there are people walking around with dark secrets. Once these secrets come to light, you won’t fall off your seat, but the way these finals are being worked out is very strong.
‘The Nest’ works with clichés, but does so in a traditionally good way. Like James ‘Saw’ Wan, De Feo exploits creaking doors, ominous shadows and a haunting soundtrack to achieve his goal: to scare you. ‘The Nest’ gets under your skin at times.
A plot twist halfway through the film takes some of the tension away, but that shouldn’t spoil the fun. This is a well-made Italian horror film that relies on the build-up of tension, beautiful sets and convincing cast. There is nothing wrong with that! The Feo gives a nice calling card and this first throw makes you curious about the future!