28 user 46 critic

The Nesting (1981)

R | | Horror | 1 May 1981 (USA)
A writer suffering from agoraphobia rents an isolated house so she can concentrate on her writing. She doesn't know that the house is a former brothel, and is inhabited by the ghosts of dead prostitutes.



(screenplay), (screenplay)

Watch Now

With Prime Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Evil (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A doctor buys a Civil War era dilapidated mansion and hires a few friends to fix it up but the mansion is haunted.

Director: Gus Trikonis
Stars: Richard Crenna, Joanna Pettet, Andrew Prine
Popcorn (1991)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A murderer begins killing off teenagers at a horrorthon they have organized in an abandoned theater.

Directors: Mark Herrier, Alan Ormsby
Stars: Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, Dee Wallace
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

God and Satan are on a train discussing the fate of three individuals. The stories of the people in question are told in a trio of very strange vignettes. One involves an insane anylum with... See full summary »

Directors: John Carr, Phillip Marshak, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Barbara Wyler, Jamie Scoggin, Stacey Lyons
Final Exam (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A psycho killer shows up on college campus to slash up pretty co-eds and dumb jocks.

Director: Jimmy Huston
Stars: Cecile Bagdadi, Joel S. Rice, Ralph Brown
The Unseen (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A trio of female reporters find themselves staying overnight in a house occupied by a hostile being lurking in the basement.

Director: Danny Steinmann
Stars: Stephen Furst, Barbara Bach, Sydney Lassick
The Boogens (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Otherworldly creatures inhabit the bootleg tunnels underneath a small town mining community, and they kill any of the townsfolk who invade their home.

Director: James L. Conway
Stars: Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin
Evilspeak (1981)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An outcast military cadet taps into a way to summon demons and cast spells on his tormentors through his computer.

Director: Eric Weston
Stars: Clint Howard, R.G. Armstrong, Joe Cortese
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

H.P. Lovecraft, the well-known horror writer, is looking in the late thirties after the book 'Necronomicon'. He finds it guarded by monks in an old library. He then copies some stories from... See full summary »

Directors: Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Tony Azito, Juan Fernández
Nightmares (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Anthology of four horror tales with a supernatural twist based on urban legends.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Cristina Raines, Joe Lambie, Anthony James
Spasmo (1974)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Christian (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend are taking a walk on a deserted beach when they discover a woman's body lying. A closer look proves that she's alive. The next day Christian ... See full summary »

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Robert Hoffmann, Suzy Kendall, Ivan Rassimov
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A masked killer begins murdering students on the school track team after a track runner dies upon completion of a 30 second 200-meter race.

Director: Herb Freed
Stars: Christopher George, Patch Mackenzie, E. Danny Murphy
The Horror at 37,000 Feet (TV Movie 1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An invisible demon in the cargo hold of a jet airliner terrorizes the passengers.

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Chuck Connors, Buddy Ebsen, Tammy Grimes


Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Groves ...
Lauren Cochran
Christopher Loomis ...
Mark Felton
Michael David Lally ...
Daniel Griffith
Col. LeBrun
Frank Beasley
David Tabor ...
Abner Welles
Patrick Farrelly ...
Dr. Webb
Bobo Lewis ...
Catherine Beasley
June Berry ...
Ann Varley ...
Cecile Liebman ...
Ron Levine ...
Leland LeBrun
Bruce Kronenberg ...
Young Abner
Jim Nixon ...
Young Frank
James Saxon ...


Gothic mystery writer Lauren Cochran leaves New York to move into an eerie Victorian mansion, once a brothel haunted by the ghost of a madam Florinda Costello. The ex-brothel is the scene of several gore killings, witnessed by Lauren. With John Carradine. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What's outside brings terror. What's inside means death. See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Massacre Mansion  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Gloria Grahame. See more »

Crazy Credits

With the grateful participation of Gloria Grahame as Florinda Costello. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Confounding and atmospheric yet at times terribly awkward
27 February 2016 | by (New York, NY, United States) – See all my reviews

"The Nesting" follows Lauren Cochran, a New York City novelist who begins suffering from crippling agoraphobia. She decides to eliminate the problem by relocating to a remote, rundown mansion upstate for solitude and an opportunity to work on a book; things don't quite go as planned though when it's discovered that the house was a former brothel where multiple prostitutes disappeared fifty years prior.

I had never heard of this film and came across a review of it online; I was surprised how under the radar the film is, particularly that in my decades-long existence as a horror fan, I'd never crossed paths with it. It is a strange film—in some ways, it's very sophisticated and thematically interesting, and yet at times it is also terribly awkward, poorly scripted, and borderline tedious.

So, what's the attraction here? "The Nesting," in spite of some fundamental problems, establishes an atmospheric glaze over itself that is absolutely flummoxing. The cinematography is surprisingly lush for this type of film, and the location and setting helps bolster the utterly strange vibes of the picture. Some of its best moments hands down are the protagonist's encounters with the ghostly prostitutes; the apparitions appear and disappear from the mise-en-scène as if living characters passing through a room, and their presentation in this way is startling and strangely terrifying. The fact that the majority of the horror scenes here occur in daylight is also another unusual feature of the picture.

As I said before, there are some problems with the film, the first being that it seems to toe the line between haunted house film and full-blown psychological horror; there are even moments where it appears to be taking on tenets of a slasher film. This is not to say that a film can't cross-reference genres, but the script here just doesn't manage to do so gracefully. The film is also at times awkwardly edited, which is where some of its budget limitations seem to visibly crop up, and the chemistry between some of the actors is a bit off key. Robin Groves is decent as the lead, although her character is strangely written to begin with. John Carradine shows up as the plutocratic owner of the home, while Gloria Grahame appears in her final screen role as the madame of the bygone brothel.

The film's conclusion is quite frankly baffling, and I was surprised to see it end as it did, as the film leads the viewer to believe they will be treated with some sort of conceivable resolution. "The Nesting" ardently resists this, and leaves the viewer with an uncomfortable ambiguity that is atypical of this kind of picture. All in all, I found this film strangely fixating and visually eerie in spite of its hodgepodge script and uneven performances. In the greater scheme, it is a marginal entry in the genre, though I must admit there is something confounding and creepy about it on a base level. Worth a look. 6/10.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Nesting Blu Ray is NOT the directors cut! geminidreamatl24
Where is that COOL-LOOKING HOUSE??? Flixer1957
DVD coming in May Notaninterestingname
Good gore effects mr-murph
Discuss The Nesting (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: