Directed by Ben and Chris Blaine
Written, edited, and directed by the debutant brothers, Ben and Chris Blaine, “Nina Forever” is a romantic gothic tale whose morbid and comedic tones are simultaneously disconcerting and ridiculous.
Holly (Abigail Hardingham) is a paramedic student who works part-time in a supermarket where she befriends with the suicidal Rob (Cian Barry), a coworker who’s still trying to cope with the tragic death of his girlfriend.
Their friendship evolves into something more serious, but their first sexual contact is interrupted by a strange presence that emerges from under the sheets. It’s Nina (Fiona O'Shaughnessy), Rob’s possessive girlfriend, who rises from the dead and comes to claim what belongs to her, leaving the bed soaked in blood. Mutilated and flaming with jealousy, this decrepit doll makes her point of view quite clear when she affirms: ‘I’m not his ex because he never broke up with me’. When he says he wants to break up now, she refutes ‘now you cannot because I’m dead’.
So, imagine the burden! Every time the fresh couple embarks in sexual intercourse, there’s Nina, to spoil the party and cover them with shattered flesh and sticky blood.
Holly wasn’t so scared, but a bit shaken, deciding to give Rob some time to think things over. In the meantime, the latter continues visiting Nina’s grieving parents at their house. The mother, Sally (Elizabeth Elvin), encourages him to move on and find someone else while the father, Dan (David Troughton), enjoys his presence while listening to Nina’s iTunes mix over and over again.
Rob and Holly’s second sexual encounter is much less scary and can be described as a failed threesome. Nina’s rejection in becoming the third element reinforces her willingness to sabotage their pleasurable moments. From that moment on, she acts aggressively, albeit the film cheats on us, proving to be totally inoffensive, volatile, and elusively gory. Moreover, it becomes repetitive in its ideas and consequently unmoving.
Nina’s apparitions are nastier than horrific, and at this point, the directors struggle to find a favorable intersection between comedy and horror, genres that had a margin to be better explored.
“Nina Forever” is technically strong, particularly with respect to the brothers’ editing, Oli Russell’s cinematography, and the remarkable lead performance by the emergent Ms. Hardingham. However, the slick script, even oozing obscure weirdness from all around, gives us too little besides playing with the sinful idea of a lascivious couple having sex with a dead body who loves to mess with them.