Firstly, I want to mention how despite this being a low budget film and being the first project for the directors and nearly all of the actors (including Madeline Conway as Ranae), the acting isn’t bad at all. There’s definitely potential there, and Conway manages to make Ranae a likeable enough character. There’s nothing particularly special about the characters, but they serve their purpose. However, I would have liked to see Renae’s brother Ray (Marco Lama) play a bigger part as he’s the most likeable character but only gets screen time through video calls. If he’d been present for the haunting with his sister, I think these characters could have gone through an emotional journey together regarding their backstory.
There’s not a huge amount of special effects in the film but when there are, they’re pretty good, as is the practical make-up for the ghost. The image of the ghost seems to take influence from Japanese horror such as ‘The Ring’, so the simplicity of the design is good. However, the film as a whole is mostly average – although there are a few good moments here and there. I particularly liked a psychedelic scene when Renae has a repeating dream when she falls asleep at the beginning of the night of babysitting which showed some interesting editing. The story is just too much of a slow burner and takes too long to get into things, and there aren’t too many scares until towards the end of the film.
Overall, ‘The Nursery’ isn’t a bad film but it’s not something to get excited about either. Unfortunately, the pacing leaves it falling a little flat, but it’s a great effort for a group of first-time filmmakers. I get the feeling these directors will go on to do better things, and considering horror can already be a difficult genre to get right, this is something that could have been a million times worse and they deserve recognition for making the best of a low budget.