Brothers’ Nest – movie review

Filled with humour, horror and bite, Brothers’ Nest stars the Jacobsen brothers, Clayton and Shane. Clayton also directs the film, as he did with Kenny, which really launched Shane’s career.

With their mother (Lynette Curran) dying of cancer, two brothers – Terry (Shane) and Jeff (Clayton) – go to extreme lengths to protect their inheritance from being signed away. On a cold morning, the pair dress in protective gear, complete with gloves and enter their childhood home. Treachery is on their minds. They lay in wait for their stepfather Rodger (Kim Gyngell), intending to do away with him and ensure their mother bequeaths the house to them and not him. It’s a meticulously planned operation; but the best laid plans of mice and men …

Watching this disaster unfold shows that brotherly love has its limits. Brothers’ Nest is a story about the need for validation, and the damage done to those who fail to receive it. Self-preservation, fear and loyalty are all poignant motivators in the power struggle.

The film was a gift of sorts from writer Jaime Browne. Browne was staying at Clayton Jacobsen’s country property while working on another project and clearly there was something about the isolation of the retreat that left him feeling vulnerable. A few months later Browne sent Jacobsen a script with a note: “I wrote this for you and your bro to shoot in your home.”

The first half of Brothers’ Nest is a two-hander. That’s the set-up, which is smart and, at times, funny. But as clever and as exciting as it is, it started to wear thin. I was wanting something more to happen. When it did, the film kicked up a gear. The stakes were raised and action took over.

The key to this picture’s success remains the plotting and the development of the characters. The cinematography and music certainly added to the atmosphere. All the acting was strong and only five actors appear (the only other is Sarah Snook, who appears only briefly).

This is the sort of original material I applaud and wish we could see more of Australia. I exited the cinema chuffed at what the Jacobsen boys had put together.

Director: Clayton Jacobsen
Cast: Shane Jacobsen, Clayton Jacobsen, Lynette Curran, Kim Gyngell
Release Date: 21 June 2018 (limited)
Rating: MA 15+

Alex First

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