I blame Stephen King. I don't really know who started it, but The Shining is a pretty good place to start with The Titling Convention that Plagued the Late '70s and Early '80s. That's the one wherein if you wanted to make your book or movie sound scary, you'd just slap an 'ing' on the end of a word. The Burning, The Howling, and on and on. The Nesting, one of those forgotten horrors, is one of the weirder sounding iterations of this type of nomenclature, though the movie itself doesn't really live up to the weirdness, or the scariness for that matter.
You might ask, "what's the point of releasing a forgotten, not-very-good horror movie from the '80s?" As do I, leading me to ponder the whole Manufactured on Demand trend. As opposed to Digital Streaming, M.O.D. is for people who still like to own things, rather than paying to borrow someone else's crippled copy - no matter how readily available that crippled copy may be. Blue Underground has done a nice job with The Nesting, but without many extras, and in the service of a movie with marginal appeal, I wonder if this wouldn't have been a title more suited to M.O.D.? I guess the times are changing, and I salute what Blue Underground is doing. I just hope they make some money, at least enough for the rats to shred some bills for a little 'nesting' of their own.
At any rate, what's really in store for you is a variation on the theme of a fragile woman left alone in a creepy house, and what happens to her there. The motif has been around since the devastating short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" and before - it's common because we all know any one of us could snap at any moment. Repulsion and Let's Scare Jessica To Death are two of my favorites from this movement, and dim echoes of both can be seen in The Nesting. Lauren Cochran (Robin Groves) writes horror novels, but as an agoraphobic nutter she finds inspiration fleeting. Renting a creepy old house out in the middle of nowhere, she sets up herself, and viewers, for some nice haunted house-style chills. We'd certainly like some chills as a break from her comic-relief boyfriend - a character straight out of bad comedy hell - but he might actually be the most horrific thing about this otherwise ho-hum thriller.
Mysterious goings-on lead to slo-mo sleuthing as Lauren tries to figure out what's so wrong with her terrorific rental. Sleuthing, which also includes an appearance by genre vet and all around drunk guy John Carradine. The venerable thesp's appearance never was one that could guarantee a good movie, yet somehow he got some form of reputation to that extent. Here, he proves to be the weird looking geriatric we come to expect, but no more. Which is as it goes for the movie in general: a few bits of counter-intuitive, splashy gore, some mild nudity, and a whole lot of unfulfilled promise.
Moviegoers who enjoy watching lonely people go nuts in haunted houses will feel a brief thrill of discovery watching this under-the-radar 1980s potboiler, which sat on rental store shelves begging foolishly to be taken home. After 100 minutes of disappointment punctuated by exploitation elements best left to other movies, you'll surely nest this disk in with other forgotten movies, never to be watched again.
No empty nest syndrome with this 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation, which looks fantastic on DVD. The image is detailed and sharp, and colors are rich and saturated. No compression artifacts are noted, either.
Dolby Digital 6.1 DTS-ES, 5.1 Surround EX and Digital Mono Audio tracks are your choices. You might say Blue Underground has done right in their presentation of this movie. As I'm permanently stuck in the Audio Stone Age, I checked this feature out in mono, and it sounded fine, with quality recording revealing clear dialog, and no distortion or overenthusiastic music mixing.
Deleted and Extended Scenes run twelve minutes, and are mostly of the extended variety, focusing on additional dialog. An extensive Poster and Still Gallery should be of interest to those who are really into this type of memorabilia, while six-minutes worth of TV Spots and Trailers finish things up.
Moviegoers who enjoy watching lonely people go nuts in haunted houses will feel a brief thrill of discovery watching this under-the-radar 1980s potboiler, which sat on rental store shelves begging foolishly to be taken home. After 100 minutes of disappointment punctuated by exploitation elements best left to other movies, unless you Rent It, you'll surely nest this disk in with other forgotten movies, never to be watched again.
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com