Stars: Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Abigail Hardingham, Cian Barry, David Troughton, Elizabeth Elvin, Bill Holland, Lee Nicholas Harris, Sean Verey, Phelim Kelly, Richard Sandling, Javan Hirst | Written and Directed by Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine
They say true love lasts forever, but what about when the person you love is dead..?After Rob’s (Cian Barry) girlfriend Nina (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) dies in a car crash he attempts suicide, which he fails at. Looking to move on he soon falls for co-worker Holly (Abigail Hardingham) who he starts a relationship with. The problem is, whenever they try to have sex, Nina is brought back to sarcastically torment their attempts to have a normal relationship.
Nina Forever is not a horror in a traditional sense, you really don’t get much in the way of violence. This is more a psychological drama looking at the problems with letting go. This lack in the ability of letting go is shown also in Rob’s relationship with Nina’s parents. Arguing that he is doing it to help them grieve for their daughter, in fact it feels very much like it is he himself that is using them as a way to cope with the loss of Nina.
What we see in the movie is that the lack in ability to let go is destructive not only to the people around Rob, but also to their sanity. Whether it is damaging Nina’s parent’s relationship with each other or pushing Holly to the limit, the problem is Nina’s haunting presence is not one easily fought against.
In bringing her back in a manifestation that is more of a living corpse than an actual ghost, it allows Nina to be a more extreme presence, and O’Shaughnessy plays the part well. Vicious in her comments and almost relishing the power she has over both Rob and Holly you can’t help but laugh at some of the things she says. The seriousness of the problem is ever-present though, especially when the inevitable happens at the end. I won’t spoil it though, but it is a more intelligent ending that just simply saying goodbye.
What I liked about Nina Forever was the smartness of the concept. It is more of a subtle movie where small actions speak more to the audience than explicitly having to hear it said. Little things such as removing memories of Nina highlight the fact that even by removing objects, if you leave a space there for them then she still haunts that space. The fact the flat Rob lives in almost appears empty during the cleansing process is in contrast with the pure fact that Nina still lingers, and she still appears every time he has sex.
While I can understand that some people will think this doesn’t really deliver as a horror film, but I find that for me it does. Horror is at its best when the writers and directors (in this case Ben Blaine and Chris Blaine) decide to experiment and take a risk, and while sometimes they don’t pay off, here they do. Nina Forever is a refreshing change to what is a Blithe Spirits style story and one that manages to bring in the laughs with the horror.
If you are looking for a fresh British horror film then Nina Forever definitely manages to deliver. More of a psychological tale than one that wants to throw the gore around, it is a thoughtful movie that really taps into your brain and sticks with you. Nina Forever is a sign that horror can still deliver where it matters, and still manage to be funny with it.
Nina Forever will be available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from February 22nd.