The Nature Of Nicholas

I used to think that The Nature Of Nicholas is a cute movie. That`s the impressions that the clips from it in the video sharing web sites left on me. More over the main characters looks alike one of my classmates in the German classes . But after seeing the movie I have to say that it really surprised me . I have never suspected that I would see horror elements and will feel that confused after watching it. Its very so paced – I set the speed in my video player to 140% and it still felt like I am watching on a regular pace. There seems to be so many metaphors in this movies – and yet none as clear as it should have been . If you don`t know much about it – the movie that is , but you want to see it – I urge you not to read other reviews online because they would reveal much and you would miss the twisted surprised feeling which is guaranteed to you by the kind of plot The Nature Of Nicholas has. This movie won`t make it in my favorite list – but it sure made it in the weirdest movies I have ever seen. Yes it is a coming of age movie – a coming out movie too I guess at least that I was able to make out. I guess if I have to compare it with another movie it will be the Reflecting Skin and yet may be I was able to understand it more than this one.The acting in The Nature Of Nicholas was not very good either – especially the one of the adult actors – the one of Jeff Sutton and David Turnbull as the two main characters ( Nicholas and Bobby ) was at least bearable . The best feature this movie has is indeed the superb photography – and its nature scenes – again another thing that makes it similar to Reflecting Skin.

“”I just hope people pay attention to it and come up with their own ideas,” the director says. “Movies like this are complicated. “

IMDB (link) 2012 Update : A review by Phoenixeast at


  1. I think his (Nicholas’) father was a maniac. And he violated his son in boys’ earlier years too. All of it effected on the Nicholas’ psycics and espessially came out with the first hints on the future sexual relations(we remember that the start of the doy’s madness is after party where he diden’t hardly kiss a girl. So all this blood,meat,cadavers are off course the result of his earlier impressions but what namly… may ones off his father-maniac (remember the frase “don’t look at me so!” may be told to his father when he perverted the boy. His homosexuel affection may be also a result of tried connection with a man. I coult tell much about it, but it’s just a version of interpritation the plot. Hard csenes with sissors, awful wounds and blood speaks in favor of this version. BUT It could be also explained de the fact that his father died after an operation wich the boy saw and all this cadavers are just the fear to lose the people he loves so much (like his father)…but nevertheless all is not to put together and give just one exsplanation))) dilirium))) The first I had thought looking this film was “poor boy who agreed to act all this and all this actors-children too”)))

  2. Hi! I don’t know if you received the explanation you wanted. Here is mine, for all it’s worth. Nicholas is in love with Bobby but Bobby is not yet sure whether he is more attracted to Nicholas than to girls. The “split” of both Bobby and Nicholas represent this “homosexual” side of their personnality, this side having long been considered “sick” by society. Nicholas is haunted by his father’s ghost who is trying to push him in the arms of girls instead of boys. In the end, the father’s ghost continues to haunt his son and create obstacle againts his “homosexual” tendencies. Hope this helps!

    • i think this is a good concise explanation of what i got from the film too.. i’m personally not a fan of the movie since i don’t usually like movies where you need to sit and ask yourself “what the [email protected] is going on??” the entire time.. i’m sure the director thought he was being ‘artsy’ in a ‘figure-it-out-for-yourself-what-it-means-to-you’ kinda way, but i just find that type of attitude to be not much more than lazy directing.. and no – i don’t need films spoon-fed to me, but when boys are having intimate relations with zombies and ghosts are controlling people like puppets without the film even attempting to tie things together in the end – i just lose interest in even CARING what it all means, since it would seem the director himself didn’t really seem to know either.. that said – 11111’s explanation is exactly what i was able to piece together from it.. i’m not sure that nicholas is actually being ‘haunted’ by his father or if his father’s ghost represents nicholas’ own guilt/doubts about himself (i.e. him IMAGINING his dead father’s disapproval), but again – since the director couldn’t be bothered to make sense of it – i don’t feel obligated to waste a lot of my time trying to either..

    • The movie was quite popular when it was released and still its title is well recognizable. Probably its weirdness has something to do with that – people interpreting its meaning …etc. The short film ” Soft like me ” by the same director was quite strange as well – so probably that`s his style of work. I still think that its worth seeing the film – any film for that matter . Just because I say the film does not make sense for me – doesn’t mean that it will be the case for everyone else. In the The Nature Of Nicholas the young leads did quite well and the cinematography was intriguing as a whole , which compensated a bit for its weirdness. Few days ago I saw another short film called ” Nickel Children ” – it was similarly themed like ” Soft like me ” and I could not stop wondering why someone would make a film like that – yet even if I decided not to review it I still have it in mind when watching other films

  3. Hi any and all…can someone PLEASE explain the movie the nature of Nicholas to me? I am just completely confused by the “split” of bobby. What is it supposed to be? Also, the split of Nicholas at the end? i am just lost…hope someone responds soon…thanks

  4. I bought the movie, but wished I hadn't. It is not at all what I expected. There are two beautiful young boys, and I hoped to see their friendship grow. It turned out to be a wierd,science fiction type movie, and I thought it very dissappointing. I thought they could have done so much with the movie, and a “touchy” subject. Quite dissappointing.

  5. What an insightful review of “The Nature Of Nicholas” . While I was one of those who did not fully understand the idea of the film am now quite willing to go with your interpretation . Thank you for sharing your opinion on Its comments like yours that make the difference when one tries to discover more information about a film and participate in a discussion about it.

  6. “The Nature of Nicholas” is a strongly homophobic movie, although in a very inobtrusive and subtle way. The first impression one gets from it is that of a meaningless blend of surrealism and horror. Judging by many people's comments in the Internet, they don't go any further than that and even imagine it's an emotional growing-pains and coming-out movie. In fact, the film is an extended metaphor of how ugly and morbid homosexuality is, in the director's eyes. Attraction to another boy is depicted as a passing phase in the life of a lonely fatherless child, who is also eager to explore and experiment (as is evidenced by his passion for dissecting beetles). In addition, homosexual impulses are likened to a deadly disease. By kissing Bobby, Nicholas passes the “disease” on to him, turning part of his friend into a terminally sick creature that degenerates quickly into a decaying corpse (you keep hearing flies buzzing over Bobby's “gay alter ego” as well as over the monster that Nicholas himself evolves into after caring too long for his “sick” friend). What those bad “other selves” of Bobby and Nicholas deserve, according to the movie, is either to be killed with a baseball bat or, at best, to be confined to a dark shed – which is what eventually happens to them, respectively. The “right” nature of Nicholas is embodied by the ghost of his father who keeps pushing Nicholas towards girls and eventually helps him get rid of the green, ghastly and foul-smelling gay zombie in him. I just can't understand why most people fail to see the director's unequivocal hatred of gays. The film is not without talent, but its message is as ugly as any of the monsters it features, because it is based on homophobia and on some utterly absurd and long-disproven premises about the nature of sexuality.

    • I don’t know if the monsters represent their gayness or their denial of it. If anything it represents their internalised homophobia and fear of their sexuality. They deny who they are so that part of them begins to wither and die. They separate themselves from their true natures. I don’t think the director is saying gay is bad, but rather denying who you are is. Plus, the lived in a time where homosexuality was considered monstrous and as such they saw that part of themselves that way.

    • I can see some elements that could be interpreted
      as homophobic, but they can easily be interpreted in other ways, and the idea
      of the personal struggle of Nicholas seems the more compelling interpretation. I
      think it’s unlikely that someone who wished to make a ‘homophobic’ movie could
      render the pain so
      vividly and, at other times, so tenderly. The movie is very rich with symbolism, and everything seems to have a place; even the use of the word ‘catharsis’ isn’t accidental. The baseball bat changes meaning, from being a mere toy when Bobby’s conflict isn’t present, to being a symbolic boundary. Who doesn’t feel a threat and anxiety when they have a crush on someone whom they know won’t requite?

      The first and most important thing to note is that
      this is a film about Nicholas. It takes place completely within Nicholas, and
      everything in the film represents either something inside Nicholas, or a view of
      something outside through his eyes. It is not about Bobby, and the film never
      centrally concerns itself with Bobby’s feelings, though Nicholas’ impressions
      of Bobby’s feelings do play a strong role. Through Nicholas, we do catch
      glimpses of Bobby’s progression through the film and his transformation as

      The homophobic interpretation is interesting, but I think the inner conflict, the idea of the movie being a display of the ‘nature’ of Nicholas, laying bare Nicholas in his world, is the more compelling one, in my humble opinion. I think it speaks to the movie’s power that it can speak to different people in different ways.

    • Oh, at last I found a real comment that corresponds to all the ‘strange things’ that seem not to be put together to get the general sense. I agree with your interpretation, thank you!
      I remember such phrases I heard not once from some haters of homosexual love:
      1. What would your father say if he knew about it? Is he proud of you? (we remember the behavior of Nicholas’ father and how he scared his son; and Bobby’s words “My father will kill me”; father appears after the party where boy could first time kiss a girl and embodies the male origine in Nicholas)
      2. It’s (homosexualism)a contamination. You contamine others with your desease so men like you should be killed.(We remember,that Bobby got ill after being kissed. Nicholas notes that only yesterday it was ok with Bobby and wonders why his friend suddenly got this unknown desease. The Bobby’s bat and his words like “throw out” (adout ill Bobby) and “I’m more sensitive than you are” (about the ill dog that he could kill so that it would not suffer).
      Now I understand that this film is about homophobia but.. by eyes of a poor child who suffers. His fears, halucinations, low spirit.. all this is the result of the ambiant relation
      (like to desease, decaying, transitive stage of getting adult) to his real feelings. And off course that “Don’t look at me” symbolizes the shame before other people wich as they concider is unalienable core of anormal homosexualism.

  7. I watched this movie a few times and like all of you, i agree it started out good, ended weird and somehow the first time i watched it i was kind of depressed because of my understanding of the movie, that and also being so confused. After the second and third time, i finished it with a differant feeling, feeling very connected with the movie and like i can strongly relate, it did give me some comfort. I do agree that it was slow paced but i like to get right into it, it almost feels like the movie runs at a live pace, i guess for me getting into it and looking at it at that point of view made it feel more realistic.

    As you said how the acting was terrible, i couldn’t disagree more. Nicholas and bobby were both particularly shy people, which was also the directors intentions, and the awkwardness in certain parts such as with the mom’s new boyfriend, the separation, I found this awkwardness and specifically how well the detatchment looked to be almost perfect. The other acters, such as the mom with concern, and nicholas’s father who seemed angry but concerned, almost controlling, i thought was near perfect. So in short…loved the acting.

    Very slow moving yes, but its definatly a movie that i am considering buying. I thought the plot, characters, the scenery, and the music were really good. I thought the acting was great, i would have to say that i felt a powerful connection with everything going on.

    It is particularly easier to understand for those who struggle with homosexuality to understand. Though i have had my frustrations drawing a conclusion, i have also really enjoyed analyzing and discussing this movie.

    • I think the wooden acting on the part of the adults was on purpose. The most colorful points of the film are when the two boys are together, and this is contrasted with the drab backgrounds that take place inside and such, which I think represents people who have given their lives to convention. Nicholas has tried to do this by the end of the film, but the parts of him are just locked away, not gone, and he still has the specter of his father following him. How long can such things stay caged?

  8. I have just watched this film for the second time – to state it, I am still not totally enlightened. But it is a great one, no doubt at that. I am writing on a personal review right now… however, thanks for your post ! It is an important film that could initiate some further discussions. Greetings, ikarusvpn

  9. its a bit complicate, the director has good approach to project some society problem, well I was captivate how each individual uncounsciously have separated soul and helplessly lives to be loved

    very metaphoric movies :)


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