It's always a real treat when the title of a movie, more specifically a horror movie, lives up to what it's called. Nailbiter certainly lives up to its title. And writer/director Patrick Rea conducts and delivers a unique vision in this film.
When a mother and her three daughters leave home to pick up the husband/father from the airport, they get caught in the path of a violent tornado, which in turn forces them to seek shelter in a nearby storm cellar of what looks like an abandoned home. However, what seems to be a safe haven turns out to be a deadly trap.
Erin McGrane, as Janet Maguire (The Mom), plays the character with such vulnerable complexity and strength that it's difficult to avert your eyes from her performance. Meg Saricks, as Jennifer Maguire (The Eldest Rebellious Teenage Daughter), does well finding balance in the performance of her character. Never over acting in moments when it wouldn't be far fetched if she was given a chance to lean into a dramatic performance. Emily Boresow and Sally Spurgeon, as Alice and Sally Maguire (The Two Younger Daughters of Janet and Two Younger Sisters to Jennifer), are simply fantastic as they both represent innocence in such a natural way that it isn't a stretch to care for them and would easily be devastated if something were to happen to them.
Now, I almost don't want to go in depth about what happens to this family as I want you to go through the experience I went through watching, with all of its twists and turns and surprises. Wanting so much for certain outcomes but never getting them. That's what I love about this film, it breaks the rule of nothing giving you what you want. That, in my eyes is director Patrick Rea's strength as a filmmaker and storyteller. He offers up a horror film that, for once, defies expectations.
Nailbiter Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"