Fantasia Film Review: Nina Forever

(Source: Epic Pictures Group)

(Source: Epic Pictures Group)

Nina Forever has managed to find the right mix of horror and the everyday futility of life to create drama accentuated by horror. There is a tinge of comedy in the mix, but it is surprisingly measured. What we get is a story about surviving the death of a love one. It never feels cheapened or heavy on the saccharine.

Holly (Abigail Hardingham) has a full blown crush on co-worker Rob (Cian Barry). Unfortunately, Rob already has a girlfriend – or to be exact, the ghost of one. Nina (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) appears, mangled limbs and blood everywhere, materializes on the bed everytime they want to be intimate. Surprisingly enough, Holly is determined to keep this relationship afloat. But who exactly needs to move on?

I must say, O’Shaughnessy does an amazing role as the corpse of Nina. She embodies the post-relationship hurdle that can’t be overcome and comes back to haunt you literally every time. Not that Hardingham is left behind in the dust. The unlikely new girlfriend both feels like she wants to run and stay at the same time. Can they reach an agreement? That is probably the biggest challenge to this plot.

I was surprised by the fact that this movie never reaches for the usual comedy tropes. It is a private problem, and that is how it stays. At no time do they involve a bumbling priest or the Ghostbusters. The bizarre love triangle needs to be solved amongst its members. Whether it’s solved or not by the end, I will leave to you. I wasn’t quite sure the movie’s ending is really a finale, but relationships often end up interrupted rather than with a conclusion.

Recommended for fans of horror and drama/comedy. Specially if you think that both can’t be done without turning the whole thing into cheese. Directors Ben and Chris Blaine have created a movie which brings human relationships beyond the grave with surprising tenderness but keeping its horror component vibrant. Not shying away from the gore or the sexual component brings a fresh and morbidly sweet flavor to the story caught between a breakup, a romance and a corpse that won’t take no for an answer.

That will do for now.

(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)

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