Nina Forever (2016)

Nina-ForeverAfter his girlfriend Nina dies in a car crash, Rob unsuccessfully attempts suicide. As he begins to overcome his grief, he falls in love with a coworker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when Nina, unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.

What a strange, and surprisingly delightful (if not totally disturbing) movie. I went into this with no real idea what to expect, and was really happy that I took a chance on it. It’s not clear where things are going to go, and initially I was worried that Holly might be a completely unrelateable level of “dark and weird”, but her character quickly grew on me.

Nina Forever is the feature debut of Ben & Chris Blaine, and they’ve made a hell of an impression. After being disappointed time and time again by The Vicious Brothers, it’s nice to see a team that works so well together. Perhaps a project with the Blaine Brothers and the Soska Sisters could be in the future, HINT HINT YOU GUYS. The piece was also written by the pair, and the showcases of writing and directing ability is really promising and makes them a duo to put on your radar.

Based on the poster you might find yourself assuming that this is more along the lines of Life After Beth, but it’s significantly darker and grimmer than that one. In the interest of providing a bit of context, it’s a bit like if Deadgirl was…funny and not disgusting. The connection between the three characters, and their chemistry, is gripping and they all work so well together. The reveal of the source of Nina’s continued apparitions is genuinely interesting and actually provides a much more complicated mentality than a lot of female characters are given.

nina_forever_still

One of the most standout parts of this are the performances. Abigail Hardingham is great as Holly, and Cian Barry has a lot of charisma on screen. The most notable though, has to be Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Alexander) as Nina, her comedic timing is solid, and she commits fully to the bizarre character. From her first emergence from the bed, she is a formidable presence on screen. She manages to embrace the shift from a relatively funny character, to a genuinely frightening one. The trio works really well, and the dynamic between Holly and Nina is bizarre, disturbing, and truly funny.

Nina Forever was really something special, and might be one of my favourites of the year thus far. A small movie, loaded with sex, blood, and a pitch-black sense of humour. Well acted, well shot, and bizarre, if you haven’t gotten around to this yet, then it’s time for you to do so. Keep your eyes open for more from these film makers, and give this one some support.

My Rating: ****

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