Nina Forever Movie Review
Written by Angry Scholar
Released by Epic Pictures Group
Written and directed by Ben Blaine and Chris Blaine
2015, 98 minutes, Not Rated
Showed at Fantasia 2015 on August 3rd, 2015
Fiona O'Shaughnessy as Nina
Abigail Hardingham as Holly
Cian Barry as Rob
Holly works at a grocery store. She’s interested in Rob, another employee, who’s a bit of a mopey, dark, emo kind of guy. Despite Rob’s obvious emotional baggage, Holly is drawn to him. She eventually gets his attention, and on the night she comes back to his apartment, their tryst is interrupted when a bloody corpse erupts out of Rob’s mattress. This is Nina, Rob’s dead ex, who is as unenthused about her own appearance in Rob’s bed as the lovers are.
Despite the shock of Nina’s appearance—and the bloody mess she makes of Rob’s bed—Holly and Rob try to carry on their relationship. Unfortunately this bit where Nina appears every time they have sex seems to be her thing, and as the relationship moves on, the sarcastic undead woman strains their relationship to the breaking point.
The thing is, Rob can’t let Nina go. Every week since her death two years ago, Rob has been visiting her parents, an older couple who likewise can’t get over Nina’s passing. And now Holly, as she learns more about Rob and Nina’s relationship and interacts with the dead woman, is also pulled into the web of Nina-obsession that is the driving force of the entire narrative.
Abigail Hardingham as Holly and Cian Barry as Rob turn in solid performances, but the star of the show is unquestionably the sultry, broken-jointed, sarcastic dead woman portrayed by the radiant Fiona O'Shaughnessy. Nina’s not really a frightful figure despite being a bloody, mangled corpse. Rather she’s the source of a good bit of the film’s black humor, oozing up out of the mattress at the worst (or best) moments of Rob and Holly’s lovemaking—and sometimes even getting involved. It’s a little weird—there’s a good bit of sex, and there’s a talking dead woman in every sex scene—but it’s clearly a humorous commentary on the nature of relationships and the intense hang-ups that can go with them.
I wasn’t a fan of It Follows, but Nina Forever does bear comparison with that film. Both connect the supernatural with sex, and both offer pointed commentaries on human relationships and the hidden costs of intimacy. Nina Forever outshines It Follows, though, because at least one of the characters, Nina herself, is intensely likeable—unlike the dumb teens scare-boning their way through that other sex-monster movie. The constant sex does actually get a bit tedious, but Nina’s quips and her impeccable timing make it bearable. It’s a good movie, and raises interesting questions about how we all think about our past relationships.