Released: 16th June 2017
Directed By: Dennis Bartok
Starring: Shauna Macdonald
Reviewed By: Van Connor
Flashy editing and some visceral creature effects can’t redeem this uninteresting by-the-numbers Irish chiller, in which Shauna MacDonald finds herself confined to a hospital bed, only for said bed to place her directly in the path of a malevolent entity stalking the halls at night. Nails gets points for presentation, sure, but its narrative execution never feels anything more than stale, with director Dennis Bartok’s screenplay – co-written with Tom Abrams – a hodgepodge of ideas each done better elsewhere.
Mercifully condensed down to (a still-overlong) eighty-five minutes, a decent supporting cast – featuring Steve Wall, Leah McNamara, and, strangely, comedian Ross Noble – provide ample back-up to the clearly giving-it-her-all MacDonald, but with a story so hackneyed and stitched of so many glaring influences, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any real sense of investment amongst the seen-it-all-before story beats.
Bartok does at least set his stage well, even if Nails feels more like a project born out of access to a disused hospital than a developed work of filmmaking. There are admittedly a couple of effective jump scares, the central creature design does work a treat, and I am not a Serial Killer editor John Walters emerges something of an almighty saviour by the end of it all, but Nails never truly gets off the ground by virtue of the weight of unoriginal material holding it down.