Nailbiter (2013) starring Erin McGrane, Meg Saricks, Emily Boresow, Sally Spurgeon, Joicie Appell directed by Patrick Rea Movie Review

Nailbiter (2013)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Meg Saricks and Erin McGrane in Nailbiter (2013)

Signs of a Twister

With her husband due back from military service, Janet Maguire (Erin McGrane) insists that he should be met off the plane by the entire family. So despite the frequent warnings of a twister on its way Janet and her three daughters; Jennifer (Meg Saricks), Sally (Sally Spurgeon), and Alice (Emily Boresow) hit the road to meet him. But when the tornado comes they quickly stop of at what seems like an empty house to take cover in the basement. Unfortunately when the storm stops the doors out have been blocked by falling debris and they soon discover they are not alone as something is stalking them and keeping them in the basement.

Let me start on a positive and as concepts go "Nailbiter" is good and sort of makes me think of a crossover between "Twister" and "Signs". We have the first horror of a storm coming which could kill the Maguire family and that is followed by them being trapped in a basement of this remote house with something or someone trying to terrorize them. The potential for a suspenseful movie buoyed by the claustrophobic atmosphere of a basement is fantastic.

Unfortunately "Nailbiter" is not that good or at least it doesn't manage to live up to its potential. Not only does it lack a certain amount of visual finesse but it suffers with false characters and poor dialogue. Nothing against any of the actresses who play the Maguire women but every conversation they have feels false and that really lets it down. But then there is a subplot surrounding a local cop who pops to see an old lady which takes us out of the gloom of the basement and that spoils any atmosphere which is created although it tries to add a layer of mystery which could have been good. It also seems that this basement is massive and extends much further than the footprint of the house which also causes the atmosphere to weaken.

What this all boils down to is that "Nailbiter" as a finished product doesn't quite work as it lacks that something extra to make it a real edge of your seat horror movie. But it is a movie with a whole lot of potential and maybe at some point someone will throw some more time and money at the idea to make it the great horror movie it could have been.