Monday, July 27, 2015

Sean Kelly

Fantasia 2015: Shrew's Nest

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of TIFF 2014

An extremely complicated sisterly relationship is at the centre of this Spanish thriller, produced by Alex De La Iglesia.  Montse (Macarena Gómez) is an agoraphobic and devoutly religious woman, who has acted as a surrogate parent for her younger sister (Nadia de Santiago).  Montse is a somewhat mentally unstable person, who is haunted by visions of her father and is reluctant to let her sister, who just turned 18, come into her own as a woman.  When neighbour Carlos (Hugo Silva) injures himself in a fall, Montse takes it upon herself to care for the man.  However, Carlos’ presence slowly results in the fracturing of the sisters’ fragile relationship and the revelation of some dark secrets.

Shrew’s Nest is a film that can be tricky to classify under a single genre.  In some ways, the film is a drama about the relationship between these two sisters.  However, the film can also be described as a horror film, particularly in the grisly places the plot goes in the third act.  One obvious comparison to Shrew’s Nest is the 1990 thriller Misery, particularly in relation to the increasingly obsessive way Montse cares for the injured Carlos.

Shrew’s Nest is somewhat structured like a play, since the entire film takes place in and around Montse’s apartment, with there only being a very small cast of characters.  The film is very much about the relationship between Montse and her sister, whose name is interestingly never said in the film.  Haunted by a past trauma, Montse is a very complex character, who simultaneously comes off as sympathetic and terrifying.  The relationship between the two sisters is quite close, even though Montse’s sister is constantly afraid of Montse’s dark side.  Altogether, Shrew’s Nest was an enjoyable thriller about this twisted sisterly relationship.

 ★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT 

Screenings:
  • Mon, July 27, 5:10 PM - Concordia Hall Theatre

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).