Nefarious – UK, 2019 – overview and reviews

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[Total: 5   Average: 3/5]

Nefarious is a 2019 British home invasion horror-thriller feature film directed by Richard Rowntree (Dogged) from a screenplay co-written with Matthew Davies.

The Ash Mountain Films production stars Buck Braithwaite, Nadia Lamin (Dogged; Hosts), Abbey Gillett, Omari Lake-Pottinger, Gregory A. Smith and Toby Wynn-Davies (Dogged; Escape from Cannibal Farm).

Plot:

“Sometimes, you have to turn to crime. Sometimes, it turns on you…  Darren, Lou, Jo, and Mas live a meagre 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 mentally handicapped 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…”

Release:

In December 2019, it was announced that Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to Nefarious from Ash Mountain Films via sales agent Cyfuno Ventures. The film was released on March 17, 2020.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …Nefarious starts out slow and confusing, but overcomes its early torpor with a solid and highly-violent third-act salvo, only to fall flat in the end with one last extra overture. As for Rowntree, Nefarious may be a cut above his previous film Dogged, but only slightly.” Arrow in the Head

“Admittedly the film does take longer to get going than you might suspect for a 78-minute movie but once it hits its stride this is a hell of a ride […] Nefarious also has some excellent practical effects and doesn’t hold back when it wants to be gory (including one sequence which will recall films like Robocop). Bloody Flicks

“I do feel that the concept could have been fleshed out moreso, and the film seemed to go at a steady pace up until a certain point after which everything happened relatively fast. I think if less time was given on the exposition then more time could be dedicated to the more integral scenes exploring the house robbery and the concepts therein.” Cult Faction

” …what really impressed me was the stylishness of the thing, both in look and execution. The whole movie is framed by an after the event police investigation, which is a clever way of introducing us to the characters, and presages nasty things to come, even if the movie’s first half is little more than a bunch of losers getting shirty with each other.” Dark Eyes of London

“As with Dogged, a final perspective shift changes the focus and re-contextualizes the previous hour or so of run-time. This type of storytelling elevates Nefarious from what might otherwise just be a forgettable, by-the-numbers home invasion flick. Instead, it lends itself to countless re-watches in the search for clues.” Modern Horrors

“Without diving into spoilers I can say that there are two twists that accompany that last act of this film – one of which I didn’t see coming by any means. During the last act I saw a display of some of the most clever blood soaked scenes which included a genius use of practical effects and imagery that made me cringe to my core.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“The other plus points were the music (both neatly applied score and original songs) and – oh yes – the gore effects. These two pulled Nefarious out from looking or sounding like a “low budget” horror. If the acting and cinematography were just a little sharper, Nefarious could have been much more memorable.” Ready Steady Cut!

“There are a few hitches here and there, but nothing that takes away from an otherwise excellent and thrilling ride. The ending alone is worth the watch, though the buildup is captivating as well.” Sordid Cinema

Release:

Nefarious premiered at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in August 2019, followed by a screening at the Austin Revolution Film Festival in early September. It is available on Amazon Prime

Cast and characters:

  • Buck Braithwaite … Darren
  • Nadia Lamin … Lou
  • Abbey Gillett … Jo
  • Omari Lake-Pottinger … Mas
  • Toby Wynn-Davies … Marcus
  • Gregory A. Smith … Clive
  • Dave Gadsby … The Boss
  • Jon Vangdal Aamaas … Arick
  • Matt Wignall … Jack

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