Nina Forever

Rob is going through a rough time. The love of his life, Nina, died in a tragic car accident. Soon after Rob tries to kill himself, but fails. On his road to overcoming the grief he falls for his young coworker, Holly. There is just one small problem. Nina keeps coming back from the afterlife, and she thinks that her and Rob are still together. The worst part… Nina only appears when Rob and Holly are having sex.

I found this to be an interesting and original plot. It borders on being a “romcomzom,” except I would say Nina is more of a spirit in solid form than a zombie. It is also a very dark comedy. The idea that the haunting only occurs when Rob and Holly are having sex makes for some pretty awkward and humorous encounters. This is amplified by Nina’s extremely sarcastic point of view on the situation every time she rises. The story moves from Rob grieving over Nina, to falling in love with Holly, then trying to get rid of Nina so he can move on with his life. Holly and Rob just can’t seem to figure out why Nina keeps appearing. No matter what they do, the couple just can’t get rid of her.

There is really only one issue I have with the overall story. Rob is a very sweet guy that was clearly devastated when he lost Nina. We as the audience only ever see Nina after she dies, and she is not a very nice person. She understandably is upset that her boyfriend is sleeping with another woman, even though Nina is dead. The issue I have is how malicious she is. Nina is really such a horrible person in death that it makes it hard to believe she was different in life. It also makes it hard for me to understand why Rob was with Nina in the first place.

The three leads in this film all did an excellent job. Cian Barry (Real Playing Game, Help Point) was very endearing as Rob. It was impossible not to empathize with him as you watch his journey through the grieving process, especially when the more odd circumstances occur. He is constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place, but he does his best to do the right thing. I really enjoyed Abigail Hardingham (The Sparticle Mystery, Sealed with a Kiss) as the slightly odd Holly. Hardingham’s portrayal of Holly was delightful. She was a sweet, naive girl that had an inner weirdness. This weirdness comes out more and more throughout the film. Then, of course, there is Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Alexander, Goldfish Memory) as the recently deceased Nina. Not only was she devilishly sarcastic in a way that verged on evil, but O’Shaughnessy also gave an excellent physical performance (which I will discuss more in a moment).

There were very few practical effects in the film, but what they did include were spectacular. The only real effects that were in the film were used on Nina. Nina doesn’t come into the real world as a glowing, floating ghost, but as a deranged mess. We see Nina as she was when she died in the accident, which was bloody, bruised, and missing some body parts. Not only were these effects done in a way that looked shockingly realistic, but the way O’Shaughnessy moved her body added quite a bit to the look. From the way Nina moves, we assume that she broke her neck/back in the accident. This adds a bit of humor to the grotesque scenes with Nina because her body mostly just flops around, unable to hold itself up. This is what made O’Shaughnessy’s performance especially stand out for me. It cannot be easy to keep most of your body limp while attempting to move your mangled corpse of a body around and deliver a great acting performance. She should get some kind of award for that alone.

Nina Forever is a dark comedy filled with sex, blood, and sarcasm. There aren’t many other things I could ask for in a horror romantic comedy. Other than my qualm with Nina being a bit too evil to believe she was with Rob, there is really only one other thing about this film that bothered me. Unfortunately, it was an editing error. Usually I let editing errors slide, but this is such a huge one I don’t know how it made it to the final cut. Other people might not notice it, but it was quite obvious to me, so much so that it is still one of the first things that comes to my mind when I recall scenes from the film. Moving past these issues, the film is really quite enjoyable. It is a date movie for horror fans that delivers a sweet, somewhat sad story with a healthy dose of gore.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10

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