Review / ‘Brothers’ Nest’ (MA) *** and a half

DARK dramas set in isolated outdoors locations and leading to many dead bodies have a strong track record among Australian films. While none of them is pleasant, many are good examples of low-budget cinema, with plots involving a farmhouse from which innocent protagonists, predominantly young adults, are unable either to escape or to turn the tables on psychopath captors.

Generally, those films are bigger on violence than on humour.

But occasionally an exception comes along that invites laughter or at least a snicker or a smile. Like the one in which Shane and Clayton Jacobson appear as brothers planning murder to prevent the sale of the family farm to an outsider.

Whatever its genre, no narrative film can be better than the writer permits. Jaime Browne is the party in question and what he has delivered for Clayton Jacobson to direct offers mawkish but credible humour to round out some quite vile behaviour.

Younger brother Terry (Shane) is a rather sweet doofus. Where he differs from older brother Jeff (Clayton) is his better-developed moral sense and cautious approach. Jeff is the mastermind, blusterous, thinking ahead, coming up with solutions to a growing list of problems in their plan to prepare the house to make the death look natural without leaving clues. The humour arises out of neither brother being the sharpest pencil in anybody’s box.

The remaining characters are Kim Gyngell as the brothers’ father and first victim, Lynette Curran as their mother and second victim and Sarah Snook as Sandy arriving with the float to collect a horse.

Only one quibble, which I believe the writer intended. Who called the police shortly before Sandy’s arrival? Was one of the three corpses not totally dead? Getting to that closing stage is less arduous than you might have expected.

At Dendy

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