poster for nails
© Fantastic Films, 2017.
Warning: Contains spoilers


Runtime: 85 minutes
Production: Fantastic Films

Director: Dennis Bartok
Producer(s): Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell
Writer(s):  Dennis Bartok, Tom Abrams
Stars: Shauna Macdonald, Steve Wall, Ross Noble, Leah McNamara


Dana Milgrom (Shauna Macdonald) is a track coach and mother who’s survived a near-death car accident, only to find herself paralyzed and trapped inside her own body. Forced to communicate via an artificial voice program and hooked to a breathing machine, she becomes convinced that a terrifying presence called Nails exists inside her hospital room. No one believes her – not even her own husband, who think she’s experiencing a mental breakdown. As her marriage disintegrates and her grip on reality starts to shred, Dana fights to convince the doctors and staff that Nails is real and intent on destroying her.

via rotten tomatoes


If you’re looking for a film packed with clichés and continuity issues, I recommend Nails – an Irish film currently available on Netflix. I ended up watching it yesterday with my sister-in-law and while it isn’t absolutely awful, it was definitely something I won’t be watching again.

The movie begins with a bam, jumping immediately into what can be read in the above synopsis. There’s not much of a build up and the characters are awfully flat. In fact, we don’t really get much of a chance to learn anything about them other than that Dana Milgrom, the main character, is helpless and dismissed by her healthcare professionals, and Steve Milgrom is a cheating asshole (because hey, what movie does that not happen in?). There’s also a daughter, and while she plays a major role toward the end of the film, she’s fairly minor otherwise.

What bothers me most about Nails isn’t its dry characters, though. The film is riddled with continuity errors. For instance, Dana is struck by a car and hits the pavement, but her face appears to have been severely burnt after the fact. Also Dana’s broken arm somehow heals faster than her face. Similarly, her stitches don’t lighten up or begin to heal. Later, there’s a scene where she’s tossed haphazardly over a wheelchair, then magically has repositioned herself.

As for clichés, here’s a list of them:

  • Creepy scenes accompanied with ear shattering music
  • Borderline creeper psychiatrist
  • Eric Nilsson is an “angel of mercy” that killed five children then, surprise, killed himself in the same room Dana just happens to be stuck in.
  • Hospital has a prior nefarious history and record of poor choices
  • Steve’s affair
  • The dismissal of Dana’s concerns as being a mental issue (though this does have some importance when you consider the current mental health battles, it is hugely overplayed in horror movies without actually addressing the issue itself)

This is just a short compilations of issues I found with the movie. It’s one saving grace really is the type of monster being radically different from what you usually see. I felt Nails, the entity itself, was unique enough to save this movie from a one skull rating. Nonetheless, it could have been a lot better.

Rating: 💀💀