They Nest


Horror / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 29%
IMDb Rating 5.1 10 1962

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN



Dean Stockwell as Sheriff Hobbs
Rebecca Toolan as Mrs. Bartle
Alexander Pollock as Henry S. Crump
Tom McBeath as Eamon Wald

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

A fun killer cockroach B-movie

This comes as a real surprise: it's a made-for-television movie (granted a video release in the UK!) about an invasion of nature, which isn't terrible. The best description for this movie would be clichéd but fun, in that it strictly adheres to a predictable plot (you know the routine: stranger gets hostility from townspeople, there are a couple of isolated deaths, stranger is blamed for murder, and the final full-scale invasion) yet manages to wring a few chills, chuckles and scares from the situations. Of course, the inevitable rip-offs of ARACHNOPHOBIA and other killer bug movies pop up along the way.

The film successfully walks the line between being serious and humorous, in just the right places. Although it offers up absolutely nothing new to the genre (aside from a pat conclusion), this is about as good a film as you could expect from the "killer cockroach" concept. It's also commendably gruesome in places, seeing as the cockroaches nest inside their victim's stomach (cue for some ALIEN-style bulgings here) before bursting out. The special effects aren't bad and are almost successful in mixing real cockroaches, animatronics, and CGI together, although the CGI is still too fake for my liking.

The acting isn't bad, even if the characters are extremely clichéd. Thomas Calabro is your typical pretty-faced lead, yet he injects his role with a certain charisma and seems to be quite a nice bloke. Similarly, Kristen Dalton is also likable as the pretty-but-smart female lead. John Savage is suitably loathsome as a drunk redneck, while genre stalwart Dean Stockwell's welcome face shows up in the role of the town's sheriff, for whom one of the sickest moments is saved (basically a kind of queen bug slides into his mouth, causing him to vomit up most of his internal organs).

Although the music and plot are pedestrian, the direction is quite interesting in places and director Ellory Elkayem shows a couple of nice stylistic flourishes. The action scenes are well handled and the last twenty minutes, dealing with a major invasion by the now-flying bugs, are pretty exciting, culminating in an unbelievable yet original death for the creatures - they're blown up in a huge explosion caused by a stray shot from a flare gun! Little touches - like the pattering of the dead bugs falling from the sky - are what make this film fun, and fun it is, in a decidedly B movie-ish way.

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

Nifty killer bug movie

Lethal insects that root inside their victims infest a small remote Maine island community. Ably directed by Ellory Elkayem, with a brisk pace, a tight and engrossing script by John Claflin and Daniel Zelman, a genuinely creepy atmosphere, a flavorsome evocation of the secluded rural setting, well-drawn characters, a considerable amount of suspense, gross and convincing special effects, a tense and exciting last third, and several effectively icky moments, this film overall sizes up as one very solid and satisfying horror shocker. The fine acting from the capable cast rates as another major asset: Thomas Calabro makes for a strong and likable protagonist as stressed-out big city doctor Ben Cahill, Dean Stockwell excels as the levelheaded Sheriff Hobbs, the fetching Kristen Dalton contributes a winningly perky turn as the spunky Nell Bartle, and John Savage does well as scruffy and hostile redneck Jack Wald. Philip Linzey's crisp cinematography boasts plenty of smooth prowling Steadicam shots and gives the picture a pleasing polished look. Vinny Golia's shuddery score does the thrilling nerve-rattling trick. A cool little fright flick.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 6 / 10

Not bad, but the clichés bugged me more than the roaches.

Scientists reckon that cockroaches could survive a nuclear holocaust, but the bugs in They Nest don't bother waiting for the big one to drop before attempting to become Earth's dominant species: they use us humans as incubators for their young, easily multiplying in numbers within days.

When some of these killer insects are washed up on the coast of a Maine island, hidden inside the corpse of a sailor thrown overboard by his frightened shipmates, they immediately get to work breeding, and pretty soon, members of the local community are turning up dead with mysterious bites and swellings all over their bodies. Newcomer to the island, Dr. Ben Cahil (Thomas Calabro) discovers what is causing the deaths, but after an earlier run in with some of the locals, finds it hard to convince others that they are in danger.

A formulaic killer-insect movie, They Nest features a pretty solid cast and some reasonable CGI special effects, but although it is a pretty slick affair (at least for a made-for-TV movie), it never attempts the break the mould, preferring instead to play it safe and follow the established rules of the genre to the letter. The over familiar plot structure soon becomes tiresome, and the PG format means that there just isn't enough craziness and gore to make this a truly satisfactory B-movie horror.

What the film sorely needed was some outrageous splatter: cockroaches eating their way out from someone's eye sockets; a person vomiting up bucket-loads of writhing insects; a stomach erupting as the bugs hatch their way out. If there had been some decent blood and guts, I would have found it easier to forgive the messier aspects of the script, which fails to explain the sudden emergence of a previously unknown species, and ends with an explosion conveniently wiping out the swarm of bugs as they attack the final survivors.

Well, not the entire swarm: in the final cliché of the film, a single cockroach is seen buzzing merrily towards a city, presumably to find a nice warm body to lay some eggs in. How original.

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.

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