Macabre…ish Horror Review: Nailbiter


Nailbiter, 2013/ 1 hr 22 min


A woman, Janet (Erin McGrane) and her daughters are driving to Kansas City to pick up dad who’s returning from overseas, unfortunately have to take shelter when the tornado touched down right behind them on the road.


They go to the nearest house that seems to be empty, they find and break into the cellar just in time, they take cover. The storm is quick and destructive, the cellar door is blocked by a fallen tree, trapping them inside.


They have a cell phone but no signal. There are windows that are now broken and one of the daughters try to climb through. Then they hear a sound on the floor upstairs, and tap for help, they do not get the response they were hoping for. Something rushes up to Sally (Sally Spurgeon), the sister trying to escape through the window and bites her.


It was not any animal they recognize. And the wound looks weird. They hear more sounds outside and assume it’s help but then the windows are covered and they hear nails being hammered in. The cellar doors and also sealed. They are being intensionally trapped inside.


The cellar is full of wine and moonshine so they try to keep Sally’s wound clean. Meanwhile, there are sounds like something trying to get inside.


Later on, a deputy (Ben Jeffrey) drives by and spotting their empty car, he goes up to the house and knocks. It seems someone is home, an elderly lady and her son. She claims she hasn’t seen them but the car is in the ditch right in front of the house.


Deputy Carr leaves the house but before he leaves the premises, he has a look around and hear’s someone ask, “Is someone out there?” And while trying to help them out, some kind of creature grabs him from behind and mauls him. The lady comes out and they family hears her say,”Herschel calm down.!” Just before another plank is dropped over the broken window again.


It turns out, there is something strange about the family, the Shurmans, who lives here and their relationship with storms.


On the cell phone, by chance, a text makes it through and they get one in return. And as they wait for help they look through the cellar and find newspapers with articles explaining that twins were struck by lightning.


Deeper inside the cellar is a tunnel with a still.

And deeper inside is a noise and upon Alice’s (Emily Boresaw) inspection, she discovers what that noise is and it’s the last thing she ever did. Chained to the opposite wall is a creature with silver eyes and whose teeth can only be described as nails. Silver, pointy and jagged.


When mom, Janet and Jennifer (Meg Saricks) find Alice gone and not with Sally, where they left her. They find her remains and the creature who attacked her, he yanks the chain free of the wall and disappears.


Mom is despondent but Jennifer needs her to rally and stick to the plan. To use the propane tank from the still to blow up the cellar door.


When the creature returns, Jennifer attacks first and she doesn’t stop until the beast is dead.


Meanwhile, above ground the Shurmans, are out and about. The mother and one her son’s has released other members of the family, who are recharged by the storm.


The family manages to escape from the cellar or those who survived and they kill more of those creatures. Right in front of Mrs. Shurman (Joicie Appell) but they escape to a neighbor’s house and it’s the wrong neighbor. They’ll find no help here.



This film directed by Patrick Rea is so much better than I remembered. It starts off a little slow but gets better as it goes. The wait was definitely worth it. I’d describe it as being like a werewolf movie but without the wolves. And they do not change because of the moon but storms. The movie is also visually dark, the creatures are very good though. This is not a gore fest and it’s not too bloody. The end if not satisfying but it leaves it wide open for a good sequel.