College student Ranae (Madeline Conway), a bit of a bundle of damaged goods thanks to her losing her grip a tad due to her mother’s recent demise…she also just happens to be the lucky babysitter that gets to watch the infant child of a family with a tragic past. As fate would have it, she soon begins to have fevered nightmares, seeing strange beings in the surrounding woods, receiving terrifying photos on her phone, and witnessing horrific visions of the child in her care meeting it’s grizzly demise…and even the presence of her friends who arrive on the scene to check up on her helps abate this psychotronic tomfoolery…in fact they soon fall victim to it as well! Can Ranae manage to face her own demons and whatever the hell is haunting that god damned house and survive the night?
The Nursery is a bit of a surprise honestly; I was expecting some sort of half-assed budget Conjuring clone…but instead I got a great haunted house semi-throwback fright flick that starts as a nicely handled slow burn, then becomes a spookshow par excellence…and the pacing never falters during either of these disparate storytelling styles. Besides a nice bit of world building you get characters that even when they are one dimensional are played with great skill by actors that are both personable and engaging (Claudio Parrone Jr. as the boorish Jeremy, Carly Rae James Sauer as the over-sexed Grace, and Emmaline Friederichs as the surrogate mother figure Claista respectively) so you actually give a damn about them when the supernatural shit hits the fan. Nowhere does this shine the brightest than with the aforementioned Conway as our troubled heroine Ranae…she is an instantly likable presence, and her delivery is natural and devoid of over-the-top histrionics (sure she gets upset, but it never gets cartoonish). Finally, the house where the film was shot is fantastic; an abode comprised of unconventional angles and hard to pin down sense of being dated that adds to the outre aesthetics perfectly!
In the negative column, I have just one thing; and it’s a subjective one for sure. You see, there is one scene where our heroine sees her infant charge in a deceased state, and for me that was a hard thing to view…your mileage may vary, but there you go…but, in the end this is a horror film, and it’s goal is to “horrify” so it was successful in that for sure…
The Nursery is a ghost story done right; a heady cocktail of spirits, metaphysical pondering, and straight up murder biz that absolutely should not be missed by horror hounds that dig on a great haunted house yarn!
For more on The Nursery from Horror Fuel head here!