Above: Nina Forever
What a strange, and surprisingly delightful (if not totally disturbing) movie. I went into this with no real idea what to expect, and was really happy that I took a chance. It’s not clear where things are going to go, and initially I was worried that Holly might be a completely unrelateable level of “dark and weird,” but her character quickly grew on me.
Telling a bizarre and disturbing story of obsession and love, Nina Forever is about a young girl who finds herself infatuated with Rob, a man who had lost his partner, Nina, in a car accident. The two fall in love, but things are not so simple; each time the couple has sex, they are joined by a third: an undead, and unhappy Nina, who emerges from their bed.
Nina Forever is the feature debut of Ben and Chris Blaine, and they’ve made a hell of an impression. After being disappointed time and time again by The Vicious Brothers, it’s nice to see a filmmaking team that works so well together. Perhaps a project with the Blaine Brothers and the Soska Sisters could be in the future. The film was also written by the brothers, and the showcase of writing and directing ability is really promising and makes them a duo to put on your radar.
Based on the poster, you might find yourself assuming that this is more along the lines of zombie rom-com Life After Beth, but it’s significantly darker and grimmer. In the interest of providing some context, it’s a bit like if the necrophilic gross-out Deadgirl was funny and not disgusting. The connection between the three characters in Ava’s Possessions, and their chemistry, is gripping, and they all work so well together. The reveal of the source of Nina’s continued apparitions is genuinely interesting and actually provides a much more complicated mentality than a lot of female characters are given.
One of the most standout parts of this are the performances. Abigail Hardingham is great as Holly, and Cian Barry has a lot of charisma on screen as Rob. The most notable, though, has to be Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Alexander) as Nina—her comedic timing is solid, and she commits fully to the bizarre character. From her first emergence from the bed, she is a formidable presence on screen. She manages to embrace the shift from a relatively funny character to a genuinely frightening one. The trio works really well, and the dynamic between Holly and Nina is bizarre, disturbing, and truly funny.
Nina Forever was really something special, and might be one of my favourites of the year thus far—A small movie, loaded with sex, blood, and a pitch-black sense of humour. Well-acted, well-shot, and bizarre, if you haven’t gotten around to this yet, then it’s time for you to do so. Keep your eyes open for more from these filmmakers, and give this one some support.