Holly (Abigail Hardingham) works at the local supermarket and has fallen for the apparently suicidal Rob (Cian Barry), whose girlfriend, the eponymous Nina (Fiona O’Shaughnessy), died in an accident. Fed up with being considered the nice girl, Holly makes it her goal to entice Rob into a relationship to try and save him. She manages to seduce him and their relationship is taken to the next level at Rob’s flat. Only problem is that, when they take it to the bedroom, Nina is not ready for Rob to move on. She appears through the mattress and is determined to wreck the fledgling relationship. Rob and Holly then try and work out why Nina hasn’t moved on and ensure that they stay sane in the process – after all, it’s not every day that the bloody and broken body of your ex-girlfriend turns up in your bed and comments on your new beau.
The feature-length debut of the Blaine brothers, this is a very British film in tone. Darkly comic in all the right moments and close to the edge in others, the whole film has a surreal feel to it, the bastard lovechild of It Follows and Burying the Ex. The main actors fit the roles nicely, Holly’s nice girl trying to break out of the mould given to her by her supermarket colleagues, Rob’s beleaguered and grieving boyfriend – who still visits Nina’s parents, who are having their own marital issues, every Sunday for lunch – and Nina’s obsessive corpse are all thrown together well as they clash throughout the duration.
Nina is a real treat as she refuses to let go, her atrophied body stopping her from making any physical impression, but her bitchy comments towards Holly are both pithy and humorous. Rob is the right side of irritating as he tries desperately to move on with his life.
There are a lot of sex scenes here, but they manage to stay relevant as this is the main entry point (behave!) for Nina, even though it causes the living couple to change their sheets every time they have sex. Nina is an obvious third wheel in proceedings and it’s interesting to see some of the deleted scenes explained by the directors as they do add something to the story and character development.
Nina Forever is filmed mostly in cold colours, which really makes the blood vibrant when it appears on screen, announcing Nina’s imminent arrival. Overall, the film appears to be about loss and obsession, but who is obsessed more – the living or the dead?
This is a dark, twisted treat from a pair of directors who it may be worth keeping an eye on, as well as the future career of Hardingham.
NINA FOREVER / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: BEN BLAINE, CHRIS BLAINE / STARRING: FIONA O’SHAUGHNESSY, ABIGAIL HARDINGHAM, CIAN BARRY, DAVID TROUGHTON, ELIZABETH ELVIN / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 22ND