REVIEW BY JEREMIAH (contributor to the original Kickstarter campaign)
Ok, before we get into anything, I need to throw the spotlight on that sizzling hue-cannon of an intro (ferociously edited by Lee Wignall). We aren't even a single minute into the film before our senses are blasted to smithereens by a montage of sex, violence, and primary colors. It's that intro to Seven, but pulpier, more vivid, and accompanied by killer vocals (Stacey Delooze) that tip this into noir territory.
Of course, If you've been following Richard Rowntree's work, then it should come as no surprise that Nefarious comes out swinging in the presentation department. The guy (and his team) understand cinematic language, film as a visual medium, and they very often, very effectively leverage that in order to evoke as the scene requires. Hey, when you got it, flaunt it -- right? Thankfully, Rowntree's film has more than just pretty visuals going for it. There's also a compelling home invasion thriller at hand, and some very gruesome home invasion comeuppance associated with it...
Darren, Lou, Jo and Mas live a meager existence on the fringes of poverty. Indebted to the criminal kingpin of their social housing development, they routinely fear for their lives. On the other side of town, the already wealthy Marcus and his disabled brother Clive receive a windfall in the form of a winning lottery ticket. When their worlds collide following a botched robbery, the would-be criminals get more than they bargained for, and will be tested to their limits in a desperate attempt to survive a predator of monstrous proportions.
Without giving too much away, Nefarious reminded me a bit of the 2016 release Don't Breathe. It's a situation that's presented full of grey areas, making it rather difficult to latch onto any one character or cause, but simultaneously making it easier to understand certain motivations. We live in a grey world after all, and it's clear that everyone operating within the Nefarious story, is a product of that. So maybe you'll cheer at first when the thieving desperate knuckle heads lose a few fingers in their attempt to get rich quick, and furrow your brow in a sympathetic cringe when they happen to lose a bit more. In any event, thanks to its tendency to play mean (even when it's being playful) Nefarious will at some point likely make you feel like total shit.
Thanks Ash Mountain Films!
But in all total seriousness, the fact that this was able to shim its way under my skin so effortlessly (specifically the moments found in its nightmarish finale) speaks volumes to the effectiveness of both the screenplay and the film's makeup department (which -- thanks to a liberal use of practical fx -- gets worked out pretty hard). Most of that a result of the film's noble cause to make the violence in the film as flinch-inducing as possible; a great indication that this production has its priorities straight (at least, as far as this gorehound sees it).
While Rowntree's previous only ever dabbled in the blood and guts department (literally so; go watch the film), Nefarious gladly finger-paints with it. Heads are impaled, fingers severed, feet gashed, lungs burned, people melted and feelings are hurt (quite often) in this much more visceral, much more mean-spirited feature. And by the time the credits begin to roll, many a sick bastard will be thrilled to know that they'll be left feeling what the floor of this room looks like: