Nix (2022) – Film Review
Director: Anthony Ferrante
Cast: James Zimbardi, Michael Paré, Dee Wallace
By Roger Crow
Inspired by German folk tales, Nix examines the impact of trauma on generations of families.
It opens with a camping trip for the Coyle family, which ends in tragedy, when their young daughter Tessa disappears.
Twenty-five years later, they are still haunted by events of that day. Matriarch Donna (Dee Wallace) still believes Tessa is alive and continues to celebrate her birthday every year, hoping for her return. Oldest son Jack (James Zimbardi) tries to keep the family together without breaking down himself. Middle son Lucas (Skyler Caleb) is a recovering addict with a young daughter that he’s trying to protect.
“Bad things lurking”
Bad things start happening to the family again, with the appearance of a mysterious entity known as the ‘Nix’.
Set over three time periods, the story features every generic horror trope in the book, including bad things lurking underwater, creepy things in the family cellar, and icky monsters. It veers between modest thriller and full-on horror, and chances are you’ll be itching for some degree of originality after 10 minutes.
The problem is every other scene in the first act tries to be a jump scare. It’s like Tim Vine telling a zinger every sentence. Effective, but fatigue can set in fast.
The now obligatory drone shots of a forest do little to inspire confidence when every other thriller these days pays homage to The Shining – the overhead shot of a lone car winding its way through the forest has been done to death.
And the Coyle family is so annoyingly fake, it’s hard to invest when so little about them appeals.
Forty years ago Poltergeist did a far better job of a typically affluent American family dealing with the supernatural, and yes the budget may have been bigger, but it took time to invest in the characters, rather than try and scare folks every few minutes.
Michael Paré and Dee Wallace are always worth a look, but they are sold short here by a so-so script, overly gory scenes, and a lack of tension.
Oh, and It’s helmed by Anthony Ferrante, maker of those schlock horror Sharknado films, which should tell you all you need to know.