As a child of the 80’s, I remember the days of practical effects make-up. Real creatures and visuals that had a realism and sense of character that visual effects alone cannot create. That is why I always love seeing practical effects re-emerging in contemporary filmmaking. Nix, is one of those movies.
In Nix, a family takes a dark, scary journey into the unknown while they search for answers to a deadly tragedy from their past. This is a horror story with fun reveals and a supernatural twist. A careful balance that old school genre fans and modern audiences both will enjoy.
Anthony C. Ferrante is the director of Nix. He is best known as the director of Sharknado, but make no mistake, Nix is a well crafted serious horror movie. This should prove to the movie going public that Anthony is more than that Sharknado guy. Speaking of, If you haven’t yet, you can read my interview with Sharknado screenwriter Thunder Levin here.
Nix has strong genre elements from the start, it will grab you from the first frame. The suspense and mystery is well paced throughout. The script was structured in a way that gives us a real sense of the history this ominous creature has that plagues this family.
In true independent style, many of the people who worked on Nix held multiple roles in front of and behind the camera. I am happy to say they all excelled at their work. Anthony C. Ferrante is also a writer and co-producer of Nix. He is joined by writers Woodrow Wilson Hancock III, Skyler Caleb and James Zimbardi. Skyler Caleb, James Zimbardi and Woodrow Wilson Hancock III are also part of the team of producers. All of the producers should feel proud of their work on Nix, including Marisa Dzintars, Cynthia Lucero and Gary Rubens.
The cast compliment each other well and are not an exception to this. James Zimbardi also stars as Jack Coyle, a father who lived through a horrific event as a child and is still haunted by it, digging deep, seeking answers. Horror legend Dee Wallace (Critters, The Howling, 3 From Hell) gives an overt and emotionally charged performance as Donna, the grandmother of the family. Dee Wallace’s performance reminded me of the bold choices Ellen Burstyn made in Requiem For A Dream.
Nix has a cast that is rounded out by Skyler Caleb as Lucas, the troubled sibling, Angie Teodora Dick as Liz, Jack’s love interest who takes this journey of self discovery along with him and Niesha Renee Guilbot in the role of Zoey, Jack’s daughter.
Many great moments of terror are fleshed out thanks to the great practical effects by creature designer Vincent J. Guastini and the rest of the special effects team, Monique Paredes and Eric Yoder. It’s worth noting that these great creature shots were made even more menacing with the strategic use of visual effects. A technique I always feel is the right move and adds to the production value.
The visuals of Nix really stand out. Such as subtle changes that relate to the story and stylistic shifts throughout the narrative. For example, there are several intense moments that are found footage scenes shot by Jack with an old video camera he had when he was a kid. These gritty visuals are a strong contrast from the chilling, polished work of Cinematographer Ryan Broomberg.
By blending these styles and tones Nix is different from most horror movies. I would say Nix rises up to elevated horror status. If psychological horror is your genre there are strong elements of that as well. All of these contrasting tones fit together nicely, none of it is overbearing.
I truly was surprised with some of the stand out elements of Nix, the reveals, the monster and some nuances in the writing. Themes of trauma and addiction are below the surface but clearly felt. And this is not just for horror fans, Nix is an impactful story steeped in many genres, such as mystery and suspense. Overall, this was a fun movie I would recommend. Nix is now available to rent or buy on major video on demand platforms.
27th September 2022
Anthony C. Ferrante
1 hour 43 minutes
THE QUICK SELL
A family finds themselves on a dark, scary journey into their own self-created madness when a mysterious entity manifests itself.