Paz De La Huerta - Abigail Russell
Katrina Bowden - Danni Rogers
Judd Nelson - Dr. Robert Morris
Corbin Bleu - Steve
Martin Donovan - Larry Cook
Boris Kodjoe - Detective Rogan
Niecy Nash - Regina
Genre - Horror/Slasher
Running Time - 84 Minutes
Abigail Russell (Paz De La Huerta) is an unstable nurse who enjoys picking up adulterous married men, seducing them and then killing them on her off hours. A new nurse named Danni (Katrina Bowden) joins the rotation, capturing the eye of Abigail. Infatuated with Danni, Abigail wants her to herself - enjoying watching Danni argue with her boyfriend (Corbin Bleu), and slipping her a roofie at a club to have her way with her with another man. As Danni struggles to remember what happened to her, Abigail sets her sights on all the men in Danni’s life who act like disgusting pigs. Danni figures out what’s going on, confronting Abigail about it. Feeling betrayed, Abigail decides to make Danni’s life miserable by framing Danni for everything she, herself, has done.
The last couple of years have been a bit rough personally, leading to yours truly really falling behind when it comes to movies and even television. When your horror friends talk about how good these new independent horror films are and you have no idea what they’re talking about, you sort of question whether to give back your Horror Credentials Card. As I gain motivation to write reviews again, I decided to check out stuff I may have missed within the last few years. Unfortunately, not all of them are as good as I had hoped, as is with the case of NURSE 3D.
- The film looks nice. Douglas Aarniokoski, who directed HIGHLANDER: ENDGAME, visually presents NURSE 3D in a very colorful way that hides the fact that this film is darkly comedic [or at least it’s supposed to be]. The hospital looks like it was lit for a strip club rather than a place to heal people. The streets are almost lit by neon lights at times. I’m sure it would have looked better in 3D [I watched it in 2D], as certain shots do appear to have been shot with that extra dimension in mind - although these shots are never distracting. I also thought the white hospital backdrop during the final act really added to the gorier and bloodier scenes that took place, especially as the crimson stood out from the cleanliness of the background. If not for anything else, NURSE 3D is a beautiful looking film that will definitely please the eye.
- The supporting cast. I’ll discuss the lead actress later in the review, but I thought the supporting cast did well with the material they were given. Katrina Bowden is pretty good as Danni, playing it straight amongst the more colorful characters in the film. Her confusion and naivety is dead-on throughout, turning from a vulnerable victim to a woman who takes it upon herself to investigate the drama surrounding her and trying to stop it. Plus she’s nice to look at as well. Judd Nelson is pretty funny as a sleazy doctor. Wish there was more of him. Same with Martin Donovan, who played a sleazy psychiatrist. Corbin Bleu plays the typical boyfriend role, but does it well. Niecy Nash has the best one-liners as Regina, bringing some much needed comic relief to a film that considers itself a “comedy”. Nobody will wow anyone, but they did what they could.
- The gore. NURSE 3D has some good violence that keeps you invested, even while you struggle through it. We get some implied penis slashing, car accidents, skin carving, arm sawing, scissors through eyes and throats, and so on. The final act, alone, is pretty messy in terms of bloodshed. Some cool stuff here.
- Paz de la Huerta. Most films are as strong as their leads, and Paz de la Huerta is pretty weak as lead character Abby. She just didn’t fit the role of femme fatale for me, giving off a vibe that was more socially awkward than powerful, vengeful woman who is in control of her actions. Her voice annoyed me, as if she tried to sound sexy like a phone operator, only sounding like a fool who has no comprehension of what she’s saying and how to say it. Her line delivery did nothing for me and her overall performance was flat and memorable for all the wrong reasons. I think a stronger actress could have really elevated the material, carrying this film along in a more satisfying way. Yes, de la Huerta is an interesting actress with a unique look and presence. But she belongs in a quirky, supporting role like in THE EDITOR, where she fit right in and stood out for the right reasons. She falls flat on her face in NURSE 3D, only proving how mis-cast she is. I could see that she was picked because they wanted someone bad on purpose. That’s fine if everyone else in the cast played their roles just as campy and terrible, which they didn’t.
- The tone of this film. The premise for NURSE 3D is pretty great: A nurse with a messed up past who lures cheating men into her seductive web, only to murder them as a way to get rid of the ghosts in her past. She also has a bit of SINGLE WHITE FEMALE in her, becoming obsessed with another nurse who she feels could save her from being constantly haunted, only to lash out when these feelings are reciprocated. That plot alone was a reason I wanted to watch this movie for a while now. Unfortunately, the screenplay and direction has no idea how to tell it to an audience.
NURSE 3D is obviously a horror film since our lead character is a serial killer with some emotional issues towards adulterous men. It’s not really scary, but I can instantly see why it would fall within the horror genre. However, NURSE 3D is also supposed to be a comedy. And… I didn’t really laugh much. Niecy Nash’s character had some chuckle-worthy moments, but nothing about NURSE 3D made me bust a gut or anything, even unintentionally. I guess it wanted to be clever and witty about something, but it just made me look at the clock wondering if it was going anywhere. And if not, when was this film going to finish? I shouldn’t be feeling that way when there are some decent looking women on my television seducing men before murdering them. I should be getting some sort of kick from that. But I honestly didn’t really care all that much.
NURSE 3D is really confused as to what it wants to be, which pretty much ruins the film in my opinion. It wants to be exploitative, like a MS. 45 type of film. It wants to be, like I mentioned earlier, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE. It’s a female AMERICAN PSYCHO. It wants to be so many things, trying to force it to audiences that this is meant to be a cult film that’s not meant to be taken seriously - instead of letting the audience make it a cult film naturally. It tries too hard, which is a shame because the premise is so great and all the elements are there for it to work better. But I just felt bored, wondering why I even bothered watching it most of the time. NURSE 3D suffers from an identity crisis.
THE FINAL HOWL
I may be in the minority, but NURSE 3D didn’t do much for me as a whole. The film looks nice and I thought the supporting cast was pretty decent. The gore [CGI or not] was above average and I appreciated the scantily dressed ladies. But the tone was totally off, as the film really had trouble balancing the horror from the comedy [wasn’t all that scary or funny to begin with, honestly]. And Paz de la Huerta is an interesting actress, but she didn’t impress me too much here as the lead. Maybe NURSE 3D is a film that I could enjoy on a second watch under the influence of alcohol, but I won’t be making that appointment anytime soon.