Horror Movie Review: Nails (2017)

A middling supernatural horror, Nails isn’t a complete waste of time thanks to another excellent job by Shauna MacDonald (The Descent) and the occasional good scare.

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Directed by Dennis Bartok who wrote it with Tom Abrams, Nails stars the aforementioned MacDonald as Dana Milgrom. A wife and a mother who is hit by a car while out running, the accident leaves her paralyzed and with speech difficulties.

Confined to a hospital bed, she struggles with her injures and even regular visits from her husband Steve (Steve Wall) and teenage daughter Gemma (Leah McNamara) do little to cheer her up. These aren’t the only visits Dana is getting though…

There’s something else in her room, something that has malevolent intentions and something linked to the hospitals past. No matter how many times Dana insists that the being that is tormenting her is real, no-one believes her. Chalking it up to paranoia and the difficulty she is having being away from her family.

Dana is going to have to prove the entity is real before it gets to her.

The strength in Nails comes from a few things but mainly the strong performance of Shauna Macdonald’s Dana. Her character is likable and sympathetic as we see how much she struggles being apart of her family. Later, as things begin to unravel and everyone around her just thinks she is unwell, the kinship between viewer and her character is deepened as we’re aware that her torment is real. If she’s paranoid, we are too.

It’s shame she’s the only character worth talking about though. The rest, while well-acted, aren’t anywhere as formed and often serve to spout a bit of exposition and move the story to the next beat.

The reason why we described it as middling at the start of this review is simply because when it comes to horror, Nails is trope heavy. If you’ve seen your fair share of supernatural horror, you’ll be able to predict a lot of what this movie does. Even with a villain that will makes you feel a bit uncomfortable and one that has a backstory that sends a chill or two down the spine. Used sparingly, the titular villain does deliver on frights except when the movie decides CGI is needed. These scenes are not pretty to look at and take away from the immersion.

Are these issues worth overlooking? There are far worse spooky horrors out there, many more in modern times so Nails can at least be praised for being mostly enjoyable from beginning to end. Keep your expectations low and you’re less likely to be disappointed.




Nails (2017)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
    6/10
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User Review
3.5/10 (1 vote)