Shrew's Nest (2014) Poster

(2014)

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7/10
Creepy and disturbing art-shocker film with original but slow direction , being compellingly produced by Alex De La Iglesia
ma-cortes12 September 2015
Shrew's Nest (Musarañas) is an acceptable film that exploits one woman's social insanity after being condemned to an apartment prison by her own fears . Spain , 1950s ; Montse's agoraphobia keeps her locked in a sinister apartment in Madrid and her only link to reality is her youngest sister . It deals about the tense relationship between Montse (Macarena Gómez) and her much younger sister (Nadia de Santiago), who has just turned 18 . Montse has become a stern maternal figure ; she's a fragile creature who can only exercise her authority by dispensing corporal punishment to the younger woman as she sees fit . But one day, a reckless young neighbor , Carlos (Hugo Silva) , falls down the stairwell and drags himself to their door . As Monse can't step one foot out of their apartment before collapsing in a fit of anxiety and stress . But someone has entered the shrew's nest and perhaps he'll never abandon .

The picture is full of suspense , mystery , screechy bursts of violence and lots of blood and gore . Shrew's Nest (Musarañas) marvelously exploits one woman's social craziness after being locked to a flat by her own fears . The picture is a peculiar crossover of ¨Misery¨ , ¨What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?¨ and ¨Copycat¨. As this terror as well as claustrophobic flick shown to the audience gets more and more exciting . It's a slow-burn mystery that explodes like a fireworks finale once the side effects of agoraphobia transform in a wild fit of genre psychosis . This slick horror feast is a triumph of style over movie logic . It's packed with overwhelming as well as upsetting images , excessive violence and grotesque killings . The main starring suffers Agoraphobia , it mays sound silly to most, but for its victims, passing through a domicile's entryway is like a portal directly into hell, bringing on panic attacks, insurmountable fear and irrational dread – a fantastic wrench thrown into any horror film's story . Here is treated some disturbing issues such as craziness , astonishing nightmares , incest ; including eerie images and grisly killings . Good acting by Macarena Gomez , she's a fragile woman who can only exercise her authority by dispensing corporal punishment to her innocent sister well played by Nadia De Santiago . And enjoyable performance by Luis Tosar, giving an awesome acting as incestuous father . Furthermore , brief intervention by Carolina Bang , Alex De La Iglesia's wife who usually appears in his films as main star or secondary role .

Thrilling and frightening musical score by Joan Valent . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Angel Amoros . The motion picture was presented at the International Film Festival 2015 in Panama , getting a great success ; being well produced but in low-budget by Alex De La Iglesia , a great expert on terror genre as proved in ¨El Dia De La Bestia¨ , ¨La Comunidad¨ , ¨Witching and bitching¨ and ¨La Habitacion Del Niño¨ , among others . And professionally directed in 22 days by Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel that unleash a torrent of pent-up emotions in the form of a bloody suspense thriller . It had Goya Awards 2015 , as Won Goya : Best Make-Up and Hairstyles , Nominated Goya : Best Lead Actress , Macarena Gómez and Best New Directors ; Cinema Writers Circle Awards, in which Won CEC Award , Best New Director and Won Turia Award : Best Actress Macarena Gómez .
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8/10
Oh the Guilt!
Shadowplayed15 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A long anticipated Spanish horror for me, with a strange name and great cast, Shrew's Nest lived up to my expectations. Spanish love residential chillers, and this one proved to be no exception. With one twist, it's centered around agoraphobic woman and her younger sister, their relationship and turmoil, which will lay foundation for grief to come.

Macarena Gomez plays the role of troubled Montse, left to care and provide for her much younger sister after their parents have passed away, a bit too early. She has a severe case of agoraphobia, heightened by her overwhelming guilt which is not rooted 'in nomine patris' only but also her difficult childhood made unbearable by her strict, religious father. The father, played by ever malevolent Luis Tosar sometimes appears as a hallucination, a superego, relentless critic during Montse's attacks and crisis.

Catholic upbringing, the conservative, post war 50s and Montse's strange illness are bread and butter of the story. Macarena Gomez plays the demanding role well, she is sometimes OTT but from her every move, obsession or thought her past and fixations shine through.

Some might argue this is a Spanish version of Misery, misery is plentiful indeed, and indeed the main character displays some traits that are very 'out there'. The lead actress reminded me more of Bette Davis than Kathy Bates, in all honesty, as she had displayed certain mannerism but the familiar facial features as well.

How do you play agoraphobic - turned psychotic, anyway? These areas of human behavior and neurotic disorders have seldom been successfully caught on film. I can name but two others, but here it serves a vessel to tell the story and paint the character's background. Montse's acting out might seem 'loco' and far-fetched. She has much bigger problems than being unable to leave the house, though, her rage and high strung personality affects her sister, 'la nina' whose name we don't get to learn, herself and everyone she comes in contact with.

But suddenly, Montse meets a man, wants out, she wants love but the superego - eternal critic - has 'forbidden' her to live so she built giant coffin out of their apartment and buried herself in it. By pure chance and 'courtesy' of the nextdoor neighbor, Montse takes a glimpse at the world she has forsaken and abandoned, he reminds her of the possibility of love, desire and a will to free herself, but these new found urges come with a price: and she may be too far gone for normal life.

The cinematography? Well, it is Spanish, isn't it? Only top notch visuals, and great atmosphere awaits you here. Drama - like qualities get abruptly interrupted by the violence and gore, very nice and somewhat shocking scenes get things going and escalating after a relatively slow build.

This is a tale about shrews, mole - like rodents who live their life away from the spotlight and stay hidden from the public eye. And the overwhelming grief that has turned destructive for everyone involved. 'Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'
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Gobsmacking Hispanic shocker.
Mozjoukine9 May 2015
It really is amazing that producer Alex de Iglesia has gotten so far without being a world celebrity film maker. This one is a quickie directed by a couple of his colleagues with unfamiliar players (Mrs. de Iglesea, the striking Carolina Bang, has a quite small part) and while it has a personality of it's own we can still see the macabre, master-crafted Iglesea style in it.

We get one of his closed environments like the apartment block in LA COMUNIDAD or Resines' space ship in ACCION MUTANTE, here a flat in a fifties Spanish apartment block, which the camera never leaves. Shut in seamstress Gómez (who proves to have a scream queen background that includes a Stuart Gordon Lovecraft adaptation) terrorizes her younger sister, former child actress Nadia de Santiago, now at the age where getting out of the house to work has made her take an interest in boys. Then neighbor Silva falls down the stairs - and proves to have a secret of his own. Throw in religious fanaticism and morphine addiction.

Gripping, perverse, bloody but not without rounded characters in the confusion. The great Luis Tosar is particularly imposing in his small footage.

Giving us some idea of the shortness of the film critic memory a few writers have cited MISERY but no one seems to notice that it's retreading WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE.
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6/10
Don't leave the house
Bantam13 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
If you have an interest in Euroflicks, you should give this one a go.

While the movie starts out as some sort of post-war drama with a pair of sisters living together after their parents both die. The mother died early, the father died presumably in the war.

But the movie takes a quick turn to a slasher/King's Misery hybrid and does this quite well. It even manages to covey some dark humour here and there which suits the movie well. The cast is small and basically all the action takes place in one flat (this has to do with Montse's fear to leave the flat). But the director did use this "disadvantage" to make the movie a bit more intense.

Even though the story is mostly predictable the end and the final conclusion is no happy end at all.

All in all the acting is very good and Macarena Gomez does really well as a twisted character. (I've seen her in Sexykiller, where she showed some comedy talent, too) The movie is no revelation, but it is much better than some other flicks covering a similar subject. As said, if you are into Euroflicks, give this one a go.
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9/10
Stunning film (some implied spoilers)
PoppyTransfusion10 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Montse has hidden away many things, including herself, inside a run down apartment where she lives like a shrew in her nest. Her younger sister, whose name we never learn, lives with her and leads a relatively normal life under the care of Montse even though the latter is subject to rages and hallucinations. When the younger sister reaches 18 a crisis ensues in the sisters' relationship as Montse is aware that her influence over the girl is diminishing. Desperate to cling to the life she has established, the frail and violent Montse kidnaps her neighbour, Carlos, after he seeks her help following an accident. Some of the events are reminiscent of the film Misery.

A stylish film that evokes the period well, the plot and reveals are predictable but the characters and the acting more than keep the film alive and engaging. Montse is played by an actress who looks as frail as her character's mental health. The younger sister is delicate but robust and Carlos is handsome and seductive. A supporting role for Luis Tosar as Montse's father is well done and Tosar lends a name to a relatively unknown cast.

This film is the debut for the directors and it is a finely drawn psychological drama that borders on horror. Although the film is punctuated by moments of humour and beauty, the pathos of Montse's fate makes this a very poignant film. The reveal about Montse's relationship with her sister and the final scene underline how sad and heavy is the fate of both sisters.

If you have the opportunity to see this film then take it. The film was delayed in production by Spain's financial woes. I hope these woes do not prevent the film getting international distribution.
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8/10
Misery loves company
kosmasp24 March 2015
I have to admit, that when I saw where this was going (you can spot the signs early on), I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did in the end. Predictability aside, this is very well acted. It's graphic at times (with the violence), but it's what it does in your head, that is most effective.

If you do love horror movies in general, then this might be one for you, otherwise the drama aspect of it, might not be enough to keep you interested. I do think they mix it up in a nice fashion, acting contributing and elevating a sort foreseeable outcome or at least direction this is heading.
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8/10
Great atmosphere and music, somewhat a decent plot, but even though a great pick for thriller fans!
fbventas16 May 2015
I have to admit I was expecting a different type of plot, more psychological less psychopath, at least from the only synopsis i've read before watching it (my bad...sorry), but even though it was a great movie, it actually reminded me of Korean thrillers... you know, the type of movies that get's your attention and you expect more. Another thing that i liked was the color/camera approach... it blended correctly with the music, a peculiar old obscure environment where it should be. I would give this more if part of the plot wasn't obvious at some points, but was good most of it. Also after reading that this is a work from a new pair of director's then i just can't wait to see more of their work! Also i really liked the main actress performance and the great make up they did on her.
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10/10
A masterpiece!
boskovicbojana17 September 2018
I will tell you the something: if you see that Luis Tosar is playing in the film, then there is a 99% chance that movie is excellent! But if there are Hugo Silva and Macarena Gomez too, and a little spells from Álex De La Iglesias then the film is a masterpiece. I love this film! Actors are briliant, the story is tense, music is great.
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8/10
What a surprise
tbahri-380-57282416 January 2019
I was just looking for a moderate movie when I picked this up. This is a very disturbing story about misery and love. It is a nice movie overall but what a fantastic performance by Macarena Gómez, such performance would have easily landed her an Oscar if this was a Hollywood movie
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7/10
Wonderful Psychothriller
rudyardellis26 April 2020
Macarena Gómez is astounding as Montse, the agoraphobic seamstress who has been taking care of her younger sister since their parents died. One day, a man who lives above them falls down the stairs and can't move. Montse takes him in, but grows so enamored with him that she makes sure he'll never leave.

Shrew's Nest borrows a little bit from Misery and a bit from melodramatic gothic stories of family secrets and crazy old spinsters going haywire, but it's incredibly well made and the acting, especially by Gomez, is phenomenal. Patient viewers will be rewarded with an all-out gore fest during the film's finale.
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7/10
Musarañas por toda la casa
StregaAsuka18 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Lately there have been many Spanish horror films, most of which are not bad at all and this one is one of the lucky ones. The whole movie happens inside the sister's apartment, which makes you feel quite claustrophobic, and that is the main idea of this nest, to be a nest where you can come in but never get out.

The movie takes place in the Spain of the 50s and we see clear on the characters' hairstyle and dresses, the details are being taken care of, so much that the movie won a Goya Award for that. Moreover the actors and actresses do an amazing job, specially Macarena Gómez who at some point makes you all stressed out with the situation. Have to add that they are well-known among the Spanish audiences and Macarena has us used to her comic side but here she shows her dramatic one.

If you want to see something different from the American horror movies you might give a chance to this movie as it is enjoyable and will not disappoint you, plus this is European cinema, where blood and nudity are not so much restricted as in the American movies. So enjoy it!

Review written:08/05/2015
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2/10
Lazy movie
alvareskrull12 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is a mishmash of "Misery" (a male character trapped by the lover-hater) and a ancient and more than overused theme from Spanish cinema (the catholic family obsessed with sin and guilt). From "Misery" even the broken leg(s) and the intoxicating substance make an appearance. From the Spanish theme be sure to expect crosses, prayers, black dresses, physical punishment and the whole shebang. Nothing remarkable about that. On the contrary. Having watched the first few minutes of this movie, anyone will be capable of deducing its story line. From head to toe. Moreover there are no really interesting or original aesthetic features in it. A lazy camera work adds itself to a big pile of clichés: crazy ladies with some sort of supernatural strength, Christian images everywhere, a dark secret to be disclosed and, from some point on, blood, lots of blood. "Laziness be thy Sin."
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4/10
Predictable slasher film with a stylish cover
MdlndeHond9 July 2015
Maybe because it's a foreign film (only Americans classify anything non- US as such) it looks more than it is but this highly predictable plot drags for too long and shortly after about 1/3 it is very obvious where it is going. Stuck between Misery and Psycho, this movie doesn't have much else to offer. Hoping it would go somewhere I watched to the end but particularly the last 20 minutes were just hard to sit through. Clichés galore and some of the most irritating, like dragging a wounded person lying on your back. Come on, just get up, grab them under the armpits and schlep them away. It could have done a lot more with just suspense and less gore.
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9/10
About a seamstress with serious issues
gdalesmith9 January 2021
And agoraphobia is the least of them.

This movie is worth watching just for Macarena Gómez's performance alone. Such an actress! Others in the cast pulled their weight as well. Some critics are dissing Hugo Silva, but an actor can only do so much when his or her onscreen time mostly involves just lying prone in a bed. Silva did fine in scenes when his character was more or less mobile.

Clearly this is a horror movie, but it has a low key comedic element as well. Only someone with Gomez's talent, and that of the director who turned her loose, could get away with the 'shenanigans' she portrayed (as Montse) and not have the audience simply shrug off the show as a silly slasher flick.

For those interested in making a low budget indie movie themselves someday, note how practically all the scenes took place in one apartment. Far less expense dealing with lighting, weather, set up time, transportation, etc. Lots of movies use one or two indoor sets for the same reason, but they rarely even approach the same energy level as Musarañas, aka Shrew's Nest.
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10/10
Creepy catchy and mesmerising
eventlaunch19 October 2020
Now this is what I call a real movie Hollywood takes notes
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7/10
It is definitely worth watching
gedikreverdi24 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
An agooraphobic single lady makes a living by making dresses and she has a sister that works outside. Montse the older sister has morphin addiction and sees visions of her father mocking her. Ther mother passed away and Montse says their father died at war. One day the guy Carlos living upstairs of them falls down the stairs in front of their door and asks for help from Montse. She manages to take him inside with his broken leg. He turns out to run away from marrying her pregnant girlfriend. Montse falls in love with Carlos and takes care of him while her sister is being suspicious that she might hurt him. Police officers and his bride-to-be comes over. The officers asks questions to Motse but she pretend not to know Carlos. Her sister goes to Carlos' home to take some books of him and his bride sees her and she has to tell her he's downstairs with her sister. She enters home without her permission and Motse kills and cuts her body to pieces. The lady comes with her niece that wants a wedding dress and Montse kills them too at the sewing room when they hear Carlos screaming. He's bedridden because he has a brpken leg that's turning purple and she gives him morphine too. Her sister comes and sees her covered in blood with morphine bottles in her hands and she threatens her with dropping them on the floor. (The lady whose husband is a doctor supplies Motse with morphine and she gave them to ther sister before coming with her niece). She locks her up in her room before Motse goes to kill Carlos. As they were leaving the house, she opens the doors and she stabs Motse before she kills them. And she tells that her father raped them and she is her mother and she had to poison her father because she though she could have raped her little daughter too. His body was in the fireplace hidden behind a closet and a picture of Motse holding her newborn daughter. She turns back to Motse crying and sings a lullaby to her while she's dying and Carlos on their doorstep. Although the twist was a bit very obvious, it was very fun to watch.
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10/10
"I've turned this house into a giant coffin, from which I can't escape."
morrison-dylan-fan2 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing the lean The Corpse of Anna Fritz (2015-also reviewed) I went looking round online for details of other exclusive titles to the Shudder streaming service. Taking part in ICM's Spain cinema viewing challenge, I was happy to learn of another exclusive Spanish Horror on the site,leading to me nesting a viewing.

View on the film:

Whilst Montse is an agoraphobic, co-writer/(with Sofia Cuenca/Angel Amoros and Emma Tusell) co-director Juanfer Andres,and fellow co-director Esteban Roel are joined by cinematographer/co-writer Amoros in taking the horror out of the darkness and into magnificently tailored lighting. Set in the 1950's, the directors elegantly shine the household in angelic lighting flickering up the meek wallpaper and brightening the dour Gothic dresses Montse wears.

Knowing every corner of the house, the directors follow Montse with a incredible tracking shot going through the maze of the home, and reaching the exit of a in-camera trick shot going back to Montse's childhood. Bedding a atmosphere of impending despair, from the shivering under blue light fear of sister Nina in the corner of each room, to the stomping on bloody rage wide-shots pinning Carlos on the bed with the eyes of Montse always watching over him.

Bringing Carlos into the middle of the sisters with a broken leg, the writers superbly dress intimate Gothic Melodrama with the brittle outbreak of abrasive Horror. Painting her out of the corner, the writers create a detailed character portrait of Montse, whose layers since childhood the writers peel away to display the events which still haunt her, and the terror which grips Carlos and Nina, from the realisation that Montse wants them to join,and stay in her own maze.

Left in bed for the entire film, Hugo Silva gives a terrific turn as Carlos, whose face and voice Silva marks with initial relaxation turning into frustration and utter horror,as Silva has Carlos become away that there is nowhere to run. Weighed down with less of the historical darkness that haunts her sister,Nadia de Santiago gives a shimmering performance as Nina,whose love and compassion for Montse and her challenging condition,Santiago burns at the edges as her sister takes it to a extreme level.

Terrified of her sister and Carlos leaving her, Macarena Gomez is utterly mesmerising as Montse, whose every moment in life Gomez has weighed down by the horrors of the past, causing Montse to break out in a rage over Carlos and Nina wanting to leave the nest.
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