NEFARIOUS is a low-budget home invasion horror-thriller. Well, sort of, because it’s actually a lot more. And it’s certainly ranking pretty well on the creepiness factor. Also, it shows quite a lot of potential. Read our full Nefarious review here!

Nefarious is a new horror-thriller that has several good things going for it. However, it is also low-budget so there are some issues with the sound. Only in terms of quality because the actors are speaking clearly and deliver good performances.

Actually, there is one performance, I’m not crazy about, but we’ll get back to that.

Continue reading our Nefarious review below.

The look of low-budget

Whenever you’re dealing with low-budget productions, you might encounter issues with the sound or visuals. For Nefarious, the sound generally works well even though the score is sometimes a bit on the loud side. Also, the visuals are generally good though I’m not a fan of the editing cuts at pivotal moments.

I should also mention that some scenes are clearly in this movie because the filmmakers (director and/or cinematographer) just had to get a certain shot. You’ll know whenever this happens because you can’t help but notice that while the shot looks cool, it also feels very forced.

Still, I can’t really falter this low-budget production for that. Even movies and TV series with huge budgets are guilty of this as well. Also, I think the rather gritty look is the perfect choice. Not so much in terms of budget, but simply for the story and scenery.

Nefarious – Horror Review

A lot of good performances

However, one thing that should work – regardless of how big or small the budget might be – is the acting. And this is where Nefarious does shine. The small cast generally delivers some truly solid performances that keep the illusion intact.

Here at Heaven of Horror, we always like to focus on the positive, so I do want to really emphasize that I liked the actors in this horror-thriller. They gave good performances and I generally hope to see them in more movies.

Still, I do also have to mention the one exception to this. I was not a fan of how the character “Clive” was portrayed. I am sure Gregory A. Smith did as he was told and tried to give it his best. However, the result is something that feels terribly stereotypical and downright insulting.

Clive comes across as a grown-man behaving like a 5-year-old. And while his mental capacity might be on this level, it does not make sense that he would then have what appears to be a full-time job. Sorry, you cannot have it both ways.

Either the character is somewhat mentally challenged but functioning or he needs to be in a monitored environment. So no, this portrayal of Clive did not work for me. At all.

Check out Nefarious On Demand now!

Richard Rowntree is the director and co-writer of Nefarious and I am certainly impressed by what he has achieved with such a small budget. I can only imagine that he could create something truly impressive with a larger budget.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t check out Nefarious because I really think you should. If you like horror-thrillers with (mostly) interesting characters and real horror villains, then definitely check out this movie.

Also, it has some classic horror moments and quite a lot of blood (and loss of limbs) towards the end. Oh yeah, it’s quite the treat for horror fans that enjoy it when things get a little crazy. Nefarious does most definitely cater to those desires!

Nefarious is out on demand from March 17, 2020.


Director: Richard Rowntree
Writers: Matthew Davies, Richard Rowntree
Stars: Buck Braithwaite, Abbey Gillett, Omari Lake, Gregory A. Smith, Toby Wynn-Davies, Tony Sands, Emma Feeney


Sometimes, you have to turn to crime. Sometimes, it turns on you. .. Darren, Lou, Jo and Mas live a meagre existence on the fringes of poverty. Indebted to the criminal kingpin of their social housing development, they routinely fear for their lives. On the other side of town, the already wealthy Marcus and his disabled brother Clive receive a windfall in the form of a winning lottery ticket. When their worlds collide following a botched robbery, the would-be criminals get more than they bargained for, and will be tested to their limits in a desperate attempt to survive a predator of monstrous proportions.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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