The Italian production has a mysterious mansion and a prostrate teenager after an accident who discovers love with a young newcomer, but the explanation of what is really happening is not even remotely novel
The nest (Il nido, Italy / 2019). Director: Roberto de Feo. Screenplay: Lucio Besana, Margherita Ferri. Photography: Emanuele Pasquet Cast: Maurizio Lombardi, Justin Korovkin, Francesca Cavallin, Ginevra Francesconi, Gabriele Falsetta. Duration: 107 minutes. Our opinion : fair.
The nest is made up like an enigma. In a prologue that takes place ten years before the central events, a man kidnaps a sleeping child and fled in the middle of the night. During his escape he is chased and overturns with his vehicle. Already in the present of the story, which looks as if on Instagram there was a filter "60s but sad" we discover that this man - the boy's father - died in the accident and that his son, Samuel (Justin Korovkin) was crippled and at the same time taking care of her mother in an old mansion. Her life is lonely, austere and unhappy: piano lessons in the morning, treatments to take care of her hopelessly paralyzed legs in the afternoon. Her mother, with her hair tied back and the old dark clothes of the style imposed by cruel governesses, talks to her about building a new society,
Denise (Ginevra Francesconi) arrives at this opaque existence, a girl a couple of years older than Samuel, employed with the service personnel. After an initial sting, Denise begins to feel as intrigued by the boy as he is by her. Their bond is sealed when she lends him her iPod with a Pixies track. Ah, so we weren't in the past. It follows the development of the romantic bond between these two teenagers, which is punctually scanned by scenes that are inexplicable (that will not be revealed so as not to spoil ), and that underpin the mystery: what happens here? Are they religious fanatics? Ghosts? The children are dead and they don't know it?
This Italian film, which divides its debts between the horror titles Mario Bava and The Village, by M. Night Shyamalan, develops slowly. There are no jump scares or monstrous images (except for a brief nightmare) to which the current North American terror accustomed us, but rather to create a gloomy climate sustained by intrigue. There are scenes that don't work - the long and absurd moment when the mansion's resident doctor administers an electroshock while dancing to the beats of Rossini's “La gazza barks”, a music that automatically refers to A Clockwork Orange, is one of the most notorious - but the biggest stumbling block is that the filmmaker, like Shyamalan, is much more interested in surprising with the final reveal (which happens in the last 120 seconds and is not entirely unpredictable) than in build a solid story during the previous 105 minutes of footage. In fact, even knowing the ending, much of what happens still seems gratuitous.
The "nest" of the title and the plot in general metaphorically allude to the fear of growing up and abandoning the protection of family life. This theme and the adolescent romance probably would have found a better development without the imposition of being the support of an unexpected ending.