31 Fright Nights: Halloween 2016, Night #25 – Nina Forever (2015)

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Tagline: A Fucked Up Fairytale

Director: Ben Blaine & Chris Blaine

Writer(s): Ben Blaine & Chris Blaine

Studio: Charlie Productions/Jeva Films

Budget: Unknown

Box Office: £10,815

Release Date: 15th February, 2016

IMDb Rating: 5.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

UK Blu Ray release? Yes

Cast

Cian Barry – Bob

Abigail Hardingham – Holly

Fiona O’Shaughnessy – Nina

Mandeep Dhillon – Samira

Katharine Bennett-Fox – Kelly

Javan Hirst – David

Trailer

Plot According to Google: After his girlfriend Nina dies, Rob falls in love with Holly. The new relationship faces a huge challenge when Nina comes back to life to sarcastically taunt the couple whenever they try to have sex.

Inertia’s Insight: The dead coming back to life is not a new prospect for horror film, but the dead specifically being your ex-girlfriend who died in a car accident that now comes back to life every time you have sex with your new girlfriend to taunt you and saturate your bed sheets with blood – that is kind of new.

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They say horror film echoes society’s deepest fears, but I’m not sure what is to be said for the recent spate of films regarding dead ex-girlfriends not being able to stay dead (see Trivia below) – maybe it’s a reflection on the connected society we live in, in which we have degrees of separation less than Kevin Bacon and can view an ex’s many different social media profiles in an instant? Or maybe it’s just an interesting concept to explore the possibility of a dead ex hanging around, preventing you from moving on.

What Nina Forever does is shine a bloody light on the bedroom, a place less explored in PG-13 territory. Can a new couple have sex in the same bed that the dead ex used to sleep in? Nina Forever explores this in stark, revealing detail, and it makes for a dark, funny, tragic and haunting film.

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The film starts with an attempted suicide by the bereft Bob, at a loss after losing Nina. He recovers, and at work he strikes up a friendship with the shy and guarded Holly. Their initial cute-meet is so British; both are reserved and bordering on morose. There’s a pain in Bob’s eyes that Holly wants to heal, seemingly drawn to his tragic tale. Initially reticent, Bob eventually opens up and lets Holly in (with the help of alcohol, of course).

Just as it seems that Bob is finding light at the end of a very dark tunnel, Nina arrives. One thing the Baines brothers do not hold back on is the reality of sex. There’s no soft music, tight slow shots or weird attempts at modesty – there’s nudity, noise and non-static shots that immerse you into it. A film about sex, about an ex haunting a new experience has to have a sense of reality to it, and thankfully this does. When Nina first appears, it is just as shocking for the viewer as it is for Bob and Holly. Most would flee at the earliest opportunity, but Holly’s genuine care and commitment for Bob sees her accepting, embracing and attempting to overcome the bizarre reality of their situation.

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Holly, whilst contending with a dead ex rearing her head every time she gets her rocks off, also has to contend with Nina’s parents. The tragic loss of Nina sees Bob still visiting Nina’s parents for Sunday lunch. It’s these hang ups that would normally need to be overcome when entering a new relationship, and perhaps one of the most awkward scenes involves Holly going for lunch with them. Despite it all, she’s sticking with Bob, and will do whatever it takes to help him through.

What ensues is an extremely dark and at times comic tale of a new couple attempting to overcome the ex at their most intimate moment. They make every attempt to enable Nina to rest, with Holly’s dedication to Bob seeing her getting the ‘Nina’ tattoo, trying to include Nina in a fucked-up threesome and even having sex on Nina’s grave…

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Like I said, it’s dark but it’s necessary. It’s probably the most accurate reflection of a relationship that a rom-com could only wish to achieve, and the ending is a haunting and sad reflection on relationships whilst cleverly twisting the expectations of the viewer. A first-class film.

Inertia’s Ideal Score (* out of 5): * * * * *

Trivia

  • The film was part funded by a Kickstarter campaign.
  • The fake blood used got so sticky the sheets would stick to the actors while filming. They solved the problem by adding lube to the blood.
  • Nina Forever is one of a series of similarly themed films about dead girlfriends coming back to life, including Life After Beth (2014) and Burying the Ex (2014).

Quotes

HOLLY: Bob, who is this?
BOB: My dead –
NINA: – Girlfriend.

SAMIRA: How’s things going with your sexy suicidal guy?

All images courtesy of Google


Tomorrow: Night #26 – Starry Eyes (2015)

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