There is nothing more fulfilling than a movie that you have watched to completion, and you were left totally actualized with what your eyes had just witnessed. However, on the flipside of that coin is the gut-punch feeling you get when there is a film that you have been ardently awaiting, and after it's done rolling the final credits off of your TV screen, you sit there in amazement at what could have been...
"Nailbiter" is that movie in my honest (and useless) opinion - a horror film that would rather leave you with just a taste of the icing rather than give you the whole slice of cake. An excellently created (albeit simple) plot, some really cool cannibalistic creatures, and some halfway decent acting....okay, I MIGHT be stretching it a bit on that acting part, but regardless, this movie could have been so much more, and in total it left the film drastically incomplete.
Our plot revolves around a mother (played by Emily Boresow), who after completing a weekly rehab meeting (no particular reason why we need to know this), heads home to grab her 3 daughters and drive to the airport to pick up her husband (and the girls' father) after he has finished his duty overseas while serving in the U.S. military...pretty novel idea huh ? In the midst of their multi-hour trek to the airport, they are hearing multiple reports of tornado warnings for the area they presumably have to drive through, and the mother seemingly pays very little attention to the majority of them..big problem.
As the deadly storm starts to rage uncontrollably, our fearsome foursome drive straight into it, and Mom decides at the last second to bail the car on the side of the road, and make her kids act like track & field Olympians in order to preserve their safety. They come upon a (professedly) vacant home (where no one answers a door being pounded on), and opts to break into the storm cellar via smashing the lock on the bulkhead doors (well, she is an ex-criminal/addict) - the four ride out the storm but their exit strategy has hit a snag when the bulkhead doors have been blocked by a fallen tree during the height of the tempest (or has it ?)
Naturally, as any good ex-druggie mom would do, she has her youngest try to climb through a crawlspace that had it's window forcefully removed, and upon her halfway-exit to the outside, something rushes by her in a rage and takes a softball-sized bite out of her arm, rendering her bleeding and near-death for the remainder of the film. I don't want to go too much into any further detail, but let me offer you my estimation as to what the creatures resemble in this movie....imagine one of the demons that nested in the cave in The Descent having inbred sexual relations with one of the backwoods cannibal mutants from the Wrong Turn series and VIOLA !! Instant psycho-half-breed, flesh-munching sentrys that are protecting both the inside (and outsides) of the domicile that the main quartet has so rudely disrupted.
In the midst of the storm we have the presence of a portly, do-gooder kind of cop that is new to the area, his superior officer that will give you the creeps, and a sweet little old grandma, that may not be as cookie-baking sweet as you would have hoped for.
All in all some of the performances are decent, although nothing worth writing home about - the storm scenes look as if they were digitized beyond rational comprehension, and the gore seems to be held back for whatever reason, and this is a shame, because although the plot was simple, it was something that really could have succeeded with some storyline tweaking, and a little more creative enhancement with the way the ending was played off.
You can look at this a couple of ways, rent it and enjoy it for what it is: a creature-horror movie that tries to entertain with what it offers, or see it as another film in a long line of celluloid that falls flat after a potentially interesting setup, it's your call - but savor it either way.