Nina Forever

Discussion in 'Other' started by MorallySound, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    834
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada


    [​IMG] Reviewer: MorallySound
    Review Date: October 2, 2015

    Released by: Jeva Films
    2015

    Sex and death have long been partners in cinema, particularly that of the horror genre where they are always ever present on, in front, or under the surface. Whether used as a moral gauge to off horny teenagers via the slasher film, entrap those to have their souls damned by hellish torments, or give a mostly clear indication of who lives and who dies, sex usually becomes a scarlet letter leading to demise. One the other side of the coin, if sex doesn't lead to death in horror films it's usually exploited to titillate or arouse curiosities and grotesqueries, often not or rarely treated in a serious manner unless to exercise a disturbing point or reality. Nina Forever, a UK feature, decides to flirt with sex and death in a relationship that's altogether honest, disturbing, and decides to take these themes outside conventional horror stereotypes resulting in a fresh take on the horrors of love.

    The Story

    inline Image Rob (Cian Barry) is depressed; the love of his life had been killed in a car accident, he's very recently attempted suicide, and he's working at a supermarket despite having a PhD. To deal with his loss and to try to heal the wounds he's still meeting with his deceased girlfriend's parents for dinner once a week where they can share their grief and try to keep the memory of Nina (Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Warlock III: The End of Innocence) alive. But moving on is never that easy, and after each weekend group therapy session Rob is still left broken and even more alone. Holly (Abigail Hardingham), an employee at the same soul-crushing supermarket and aspiring paramedic and who's dealing with her own relationship woes, becomes enamoured with Rob's emptiness feeling a need and attraction to help him.

    inline Image Soon after grabbing his attention a spark of life returns to Rob, and Holly and he hit it off immediately and they are soon stripped of both their worries and their clothes and tangled amongst the bed sheets. But during this passionate, intimate moment, Nina returns from the dead through the bed itself, bloodied and broken and shocked that Rob is with another woman when they are not split up. Death apparently does not sever the relationship!

    Despite this strange, grisly, and starling encounter, Rob and Holly continue to see each other, but during any moment of intimacy Nina appears again and again and becomes the bloody wet blanket in the situation, prying at their relationship. Holly, soon feeling threatened by Nina, tries to rid any physical trace of Nina from Rob's life but the power of love continues to haunt and strain the couple from beyond the grave. Soon this twisted ménage à trois fractures the couple, and finding a way to shake Nina forever is harder than hell.

    inline Image Nina Forever, the first feature film from brothers Ben and Chris Blaine, is a refreshingly new take on a genre trope of the undead lover. We've seen this storyline pop up in films as recently as Life After Beth and Joe Dante's Burying the Ex, as well as the likes of Dellamorte Dellamore and My Boyfriend's Back, but mostly these films treat these ghastly love affairs with an air of camp and comedy and usually try to hide the skeletons in the closet so to speak. Nina Forever takes a serious approach to love, loss, grief, and sex after death by imbuing romance and horror into a commentary on the effort and sacrifice it takes to keep a relationship going. Whether we move on or not from loss, memories are there to haunt and remind us. That's not to say Nina Forever is altogether in a league of its own compared to the other films in the genre, as it does have it's few well placed laughs but keeps them grounded in the reality of the film, while also keeping things interesting and dark.

    inline Image The film is moody and atmospheric, with a cool colour palette to accentuate the feelings Rob is going through. Oliver Russell's cinematography and lighting straddles the lines of both stark and dreamlike, adding a grounding to the otherworldliness of the subject matter. The Blaines, who also wrote the film, provide their characters with plenty of intelligent dialogue and questions and answers as Rob, Holly, and Nina continue to press each other and examine their relationship, the horror of each other's loss and loneliness, and how and what it means to move on under extreme circumstances. The mystery of Nina returning is continually hazy throughout the film, kept so to keep the emphasis on the film's true motive as a relationship drama that happens to have horror elements. That's not to say horror fans should avoid the film, just that it doesn't wear its heart on its sleeve and is all for the better for it. The film's use of music and sound also subtly lets us into Rob and Holly's relationship, as music cues, volumes, and locations of music and sound add an extra dimension to their story, like hearing a song again that marks a memory in the relationship of the characters.

    Final Thoughts

    Nina Forever is a smart and layered movie, that both tugs on and rips out the heart strings on its genre conventions, never neatly fitting into one box or the other, but balancing its steps so as not to topple any of its structural pillars. As a drama it's emotive and engaging, as a romance it's steamy and even heartfelt, and as a horror film it's inventive and even at times taboo, even dealing with necrophilia. Cian Barry, Abigal Hardingham, and Fiona O'Shaughnessy all have great chemistry together, and you want to see their grotesque, yet human relationship fail or flourish, depending on your outlook of love. The brothers Blaine have a film festival hit on their hands that breathes new life into an old genre staple, giving sex and death a new angle and one that doesn't shame its participants or mark them for slaughter but examines our primal instincts, hopes, dreams, and fears of being loved and forgotten. At the time of this writing, Nina Forever is currently playing the film festival circuit. When if finds distribution, whether theatrical, VOD, or physical media, it's well worth a look!


    Rating

    [​IMG] Movie - A-


     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
    crikan likes this.
  2. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
  3. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,209
    Likes Received:
    834
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks crikan!
     
  4. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Saw this at After Dark. It is in fact a very cool film. Morally Sound is right on the money with this review and everything detailed therein. The thing to keep in mind is that it is a slower burn. It is not a high body count kind of movie. Essential viewing nonetheless.
     
    MorallySound likes this.
  5. Dobby

    Dobby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,171
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Great review as always nuff said.
     
    MorallySound likes this.

Share This Page