DIRECTOR Juanfer Andrés; Esteban Roel WRITER Juanfer Andrés; Sofía Cuenca; Emma Tusell (original idea) STARS Macarena Gómez; Nadia de Santiago; Hugo Silva
As a first-time feature from Spanish director duo Esteban Roel and Juanfer Andrés, Shrew’s Nest is impressive; what begins as what appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural story unpredictably gives way to a wickedly funny and bloody romp. Certainly the film owes a large debt to Misery in its central premise, however its story brings enough subplot to set itself apart.
Excellent as the deranged Montse is Macarena Gómez, who seamlessly balances her character’s quiet grief against bristling nerves that constantly play beneath the surface. As the film moves from drama to comedy, the actress shows a rare ability to bring campiness to violence that is also played straight. It’s a joy to watch, and, aside from the obvious comedy, this underlines Montse’s psychosis, the crux of the story, after all. There could not have been a better casting choice.
The only real criticism here is that the aforementioned drama and comedy are not balanced well, the film’s third act feeling a little heavy-handed as result. Also, the climax is disappointingly predictable. Regardless, Shrew’s Nest comes highly recommended.