The Jacobson Brothers take sibling rivalry and daddy issues to the extreme. Once your pulse has settled after Hereditary, get ready for another fucked up family blood pressure test.
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Early on a cold morning out somewhere in the Victorian countryside, two middle-aged brothers, Terry (Shane Jacobson) and Jeff (Clayton Jacobson), arrive at their old, isolated family home. Their plan: murder their stepfather and stage his suicide in a bid to convince their terminally ill mother to alter her will so that she leaves them the house instead. The meticulously-plotted scheme seems foolproof, but what the brothers don’t plan for is the day they will spend together, their differing opinions and the bad blood that will resurface, among other unexpected road bumps.
It’s been twelve years since the Jacobson brothers’ smash hit mockumentary Kenny dominated the Australian box office , but their reteaming has been well worth the wait. Brothers’ Nest definitely doesn’t have the broad appeal that Kenny did, but it’s an even better film for it. An intelligently crafted and surprisingly dark tale that slings sudden twists and turns at its unsuspecting audience like bullets, it’s a film of changing genres. It wears its Coen Brothers’ influence on its sleeve as it bounces between goofball buddy crime and black comedy, before seguing seamlessly into intense thriller territory.
That it works so well is down to the real-life brothers’ effortless chemistry. In classic squabbling-odd-couple fashion, the brothers’ yin each other’s yang. Clayton’s Jeff is the no-nonsense man in charge, the one with everything obsessively planned out so that the murder goes off without a hitch. His folly is Shane’s Terry, the slightly more witless and bumbling other half, whose incessant questioning and emotions bubbling to the surface feel like a liability to the operation from the start. Their exchanges are priceless as Terry cluelessly causes complications by botching supposedly simple tasks.
Though the Jacobson’s have shared a respectable career apart over more than a decade with their own acting and directing efforts, let’s hope it isn’t another twelve years before Shane and Clayton get together as a filmmaking team again. If Brothers’ Nest is anything to go by, Australia could very well have its own siblings to rival the Coen Brothers.
Brothers’ Nest is available in Australian cinemas from June 21
Image courtesy of Label Distribution