The Nest begins with Rory and Allison, a couple living a happy life with their children in America. That is until Rory makes an executive decision, with no room for objection, to move the family back to his home country of England.
Though Rory believes the move will bring new opportunities for him and his family, he couldn't have made a more ruinous miscalculation. Instead, the move brings repressed tension to the surface, consuming the facade the family has built for themselves.
Jude Law plays Rory, an entrepreneur and the insecure patriarch of the O'Hara family. As he shifts from being an outwardly loving father to an insecure, domineering child, Law's alarming performance becomes one of his best. Seeing his mask slip is genuinely terrifying.
The real standout is Carrie Coon, who continues to deserve all the praise, as the adamant Allison, who emerges as the only one willing to call out her husband's bullshit.
And there is no way around it. It is bullshit.
Rory has constructed a fragile glass house of supposed wealth and success. Allison is the only one acknowledging the fractures, as she knows she'll be the one who'll need to find a way out of the rubble caused by her husband's hubris.
Thankfully, Allison is more than just a foil to Rory. In the moments where she confronts him—notably, a climactic dinner conversation—the camera comes in for a close-up to drown out all the noise, letting her shine as she commands the entire screen.
Coon has always been fantastic, with her heart wrenching and transcendent work in The Leftovers still a high mark. This new role really makes use of her talents. Even when she isn't talking, her microexpressions speak volumes.
As Allison navigates the tension with her husband, the film takes on a tone and visual language more akin to a horror movie. There's a feeling of an ominous presence, conveyed through long, creeping shots of the exterior of their new home. There's even a moment where a door mysteriously comes open.
The key to the horror here is the man behind the curtain: an insecure father clinging to a manufactured image of himself, the real culprit that haunts the family.
Rory drags the family so far down his naive journey that they lose any authentic connection they may have had to each other. It's Rory who keeps convincing the family that if they move one more time, try one more scheme, that they'll fix something fundamentally broken.
When all this pretense melts away late in the film, it reveals a deeply flawed family.
At first tragic, the film ends up surprisingly honest—and consequently hopeful. This is what makes The Nest so revelatory. A painful, horrifying truth is better than a devastating, digestible lie.
You can stream The Nest on iTunes, Vudu, and other streaming platforms on November 17.