Brother’s Nest is a darkly funny film that slowly builds to serious intensity. Brothers Jeff and Terry go to extreme lengths to protect their inheritance with their mother dying, but things soon turn very tragic as the brothers’ flaws are revealed.
Real life brothers Shane and Clayton Jacobson star in Brother’s Nest, with Clayton also directing and Shane producing. It is their chemistry, their authentic Australian deadpan dialogue and their very impressive performances that glue this entire movie together. The humour works so well purely down to the brothers’ ability to play off each other wonderfully.
Neither outshines the other in terms of performance and this balance here seems to mirror the balance that Brother’s Nest has in its tone. Methodically planning to murder your stepfather simply because you believe he may try to take the house after your mother dies should not be a humorous scenario, yet the Jacobsons make it one.
The first screening on day three of Grimmfest, Brother’s Nest excels in its ability to keep the audience subtly on edge. You spend a good portion of the film laughing at the deadpan absurdity of the very dark and twisted back and forth without realising how involved you soon become in these characters’ psyches. The film is grabbing hold of you without you even realising it.
This makes the more climactic scenes in the film so much more impressive. The human tragedy that Brother’s Nest is able to portray brings up a lot of questions about family and trust and how they can sometimes negatively impact a person’s mentality. Of course, the film takes this to the far reaches of the extreme, which is why we can all hope that the Jacobson’s didn’t take too much inspiration from their own family life to create this film.
Brother’s Nest would come off like a standard black comedy if it weren’t for the ability for the Jacobson’s to easily turn their natural humour into violent intensity when the film calls for it. Watching this will certainly make you want to seek out more of the Jacobson’s work. When films of this genre are done this well, it should be revered. With a story brimming with character reveals and damaged minds, it would have been easy for the film to go one twist too far, yet the ending is exactly what it should be.
The violence never feels over the top despite the intense situations and this makes this film fairly accessible even if you tend to enjoy a less intense movie-watching experience. Of course, the deadpan humour helps a great deal with this and knowing that the brothers’ chemistry is clearly very authentic makes Brother’s Nest an incredibly enjoyable film to watch.
If Girls With Balls hadn’t been as wonderfully silly as it was, this movie would definitely have the strongest comedy of any Grimmfest film so far. But this is comedy in an admittedly very different sense, and it certainly works just as well. Brother’s Nest is one to seek out!