My Two Cents (Daily) - Reviews of the new Stanley Kubrick: Masterpiece box & TMNT (2014) on Blu-ray http://t.co/v85i1qnSix
DirectorTerence H. Winkless
Release Date(s)1988 (February 19, 2013)
Studio(s)MGM (Shout!/Scream Factory)
When I first read about The Nest after it was announced by Shout! Factory as an upcoming release through their Scream Factory line (and having never heard of it before), the only thing that came to mind was the final segment of the original Creepshow, wherein the obsessive-compulsive Mr. Pratt is infested with roaches. And then there’s that horrifying moment at the end when we find Mr. Pratt dead in his apartment and the roaches are gone, only to see hordes of them suddenly come bursting out of his chest cavity. I’m sure that left an imprint on any kid who saw it as young as I did.
So the question I was asking myself was “will The Nest live up to that kind of disgustingness?” Well, I can’t honestly say yes. It goes more in line with the creepy crawly flicks of the late 70’s and early 80’s, and most from American International Pictures: The Food of the Gods, Squirm, Empire of the Ants and, of course, Kingdom of the Spiders (just to name a few). Those movies are known for how unintentionally funny there are more than their skin-crawling capabilities. The Nest is about the same moviemaking level as those films: terrible dialogue, acting, characters, etc. But is it unworthy of our attention? Heavens no! It’s a pretty fun little movie in its own right.
Like any of these kinds of movies, the bugs are the whole ballgame and the characters and situations are just the framework, and boy do they have bugs aplenty with this one. They’re everywhere, and the plot involves the people trying to stop the bugs before a deadly gas is sprayed all over their island at dawn which could also kill everything else. It attempts to add a ticking clock element to the mix, even though it seems to be without any real consequence. But it tries, so I have to give it that. The movie is also just as gory as it is funny. I laughed heartily when the roaches carried away the severed arm of an old man. You don’t see shots like that too often. It’s another one of those movies that I’d love to see the crew from Rifftrax tackle someday. So I wouldn’t describe The Nest as a horror masterpiece or anything, but it looks to be trying harder than it actually is and just winds up being mildly enjoyable.
The only thing better than the film is the film’s Blu-ray. It’s definitely a pretty good one. Not perfect, but these low budget films are rarely marks of quality. Some of the images can be soft at times, particularly in the beginning, but things tend to get more in focus as the film goes on. There’s a light amount of film grain, most of which was likely cleaned up during the Blu-ray mastering process, but it’s not intrusive. It looks very natural. The colors are where the transfer seems to have the most issues. Blacks are very bright and skin tones look a bit warm, while the rest of the colors look pretty good. The image itself is stable and relatively scratch and dirt free. It’s not the best transfer in existence, but it’s certainly a clean one.
The audio, on the other hand, is not quite what you’d hope for. You get two options: DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0. I wouldn’t say that both tracks sound exactly the same, as they do differentiate from each other a bit, but the 5.1 track is pretty weak. There’s just not much low end push to it, nor is there much envelopment or ambience. The latter is sort of there in some scenes, particularly some of the outdoor moments, but it’s pretty spotty. It does sound a bit cleaner by comparison, but both tracks are front-heavy, and the dialogue is pretty clear. So I’d say experiment with both tracks and pick the one that suits you best. Neither are really impressive, but the 5.1 track is slightly cleaner. There are also subtitles in English for those who might need them.
This release isn’t heavy on the extras either. Pretty sparse actually. You get the audio commentary with Director Terence H. Winkless, and that’s about it. I’m surprised that the theatrical trailer wasn’t included as that’s usually the go-to extra for all DVD releases. The additional DVD that comes with the set is a carbon copy of the Blu-ray, except that it features Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio instead.
And that’s all there is to The Nest on Blu-ray. Despite it not being one of my personal favorites, I did enjoy it for what it was. I get a kick out of the creepy crawly genre of horror movies and this one would probably rank highly on most people’s lists in that regard. It’s just nice that it exists on the format at all and that we can watch it if we choose to do so. In this instance, I’d say yes. Do check it out.
- Tim Salmons