Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nailbiter (2012)



"A mother and three daughters get caught up in a tornado and take shelter in a storm cellar. While trapped inside the cellar, they quickly discover that they are not alone."

Never mind how I saw "Nailbiter" since it isn't even out on DVD yet. If I was one of the privileged sycophants who praise everything just to get a free screener, I would have had whoever was responsible for this piece of crap falling over themselves to send me one. As it is, I'm just too honest, which is why, even though I've been doing this far longer than any other specifically horror movie reviewer on the internet, I'll never be a success compared to the big name websites. Mind you, it all depends on how you measure success because at least I will always be honest.

This terrible movie was absolutely one of the worst I've seen this year (or last year, or even the year before that). I'm still in total shock that anyone could make something this bad, not realise how bad it was (or even care), and hope to get a distribution deal for it.

What made it even more disappointing was that it wasn't all bad. It had quite good production values, started off well, the tornado effects were nice, the acting was mostly acceptable, and the mother of the three girls was kind of hot. She was certainly a lot better looking than her daughters anyway. I have no idea what her name was, but I'd guess from the IMDb cast list that she was played by Erin McGrane. If the IMDb have got it wrong (as there seems to be some confusion on there about this film) then I may have incorrectly named one of the ugly little girls in the film by accident. At this stage of the night, I don't even care.

With hardly any gore or action, "Nailbiter" was so shit that I'm going to give as many spoilers as I can just so you never have to watch it, and, hopefully, it never gets a DVD release. You know why? It's not that I mind anyone having a go at making a horror movie, but I've had enough of bad ones to last me a lifetime. This was the final straw.

The story was absolutely ridiculous with more plot contrivances than a 12-year-old would come up with for a school play. Basically, there was a mother and three daughters trapped in a basement during a tornado (and subsequent storm) who were too feeble between them to push open the basement doors, or use any of the numerous jars of inflammable moonshine to burn the doors open, and escape. There may have been some weird, mutant humanoids outside, but nothing a good hard kick in the goolies couldn't have sorted out. I know American horror movie characters are often pretty dumb, but this film was an insult to the intelligence of any viewer stupid enough to watch it. It didn't even have the decency to try to be a comedy!

The "storm creatures" (AKA werewolf ripoffs) were crappily done, made no sense (except that the storm was said to affect them all differently), and didn't appear on screen for more than a couple of minutes in total. The first one was apparently green in colour like a reptillian-zombie too just to give you an indication of how little thought went into this.

Honest to God, I thought I'd seen it all until the uglier of the two younger daughters got bitten on the arm (ON THE ARM!) and then, despite being full of energy before, fell into some kind of coma for over half the film! When the mother got scratched and collapsed in a similar way before eventually blowing herself up for no good reason, I was almost bald from pulling my hair out. Why did she do that? Couldn't she have thrown the jar of moonshine at the still which they'd moved under the basement doors and ran away quickly? It made no sense unless she was supposed to have died from having a couple of scratches on her belly.


I can barely even bring myself to talk about the eldest daughter's use of a nail-gun instead of a real weapon. They don't fire nails through the air, you know! You have to physically press them onto a board before the nail will come out. It's a little thing called a "safety mechanism" to stop dumb people from getting all Lone Rangery with the things and ending up in the emergency room.

I'm almost certain that the eldest daughter was played by Meg Saricks (pictured above with a real pistol), but I'm not 100% sure. She did okay with what she had to work with. Unfortunately, this was one of those films which was directed by nobody you've ever heard of, and starred even more people who you've never heard of and probably never will again.

It doesn't matter anyway because everybody died in this film even the cleverer of the ugly daughters. You could tell she was clever because she was wearing glasses and knew how to read! Oh, Christ-on-a-bike. She wasn't clever enough to recognise moonshine in a jar though. No, the mother just had to be a recovering alcoholic so that she could tell everyone what that was. Speccy-four-eyes was only in it to inform us of the background story to the creatures by finding a load of old newspapers full of headlines about storms, mutilations and weird numbers of babies being born because, clearly, somebody didn't know how to write exposition properly.

And, of course, it just had to end with a set-up for a potential sequel which promises to be even more lame. Oh great, next we can have the father of the girls being a military badass along with the big-nosed, nerdy boyfriend who must also have read the delayed text messages, as they wipe out the whole town of mutants. Or not, as the case may be.

How can anyone sane like or praise a movie like this? I know there's still a trendy, hipster movement which keeps hyping intentionally bad horror movies over any actual good ones, but the times are a-changing. Most people are sick of these amateur horror films now, and I'm proud to be part of the backlash.

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