Thursday 22 October 2015

Nina Forever (2015) Review

Showing at Mayhem Horror Film Festival, Nina Forever was the second film of day 2. I missed the first film due to work and not being able to finish early, but that really didn't matter, as this film delivered in spades.

This "fucked up fairy tale" follows Rob (Cian Barry) shortly after he attempts to commit suicide on his motorbike due to loosing his girlfriend in a car crash. Working in a dead end job, he meets fellow co-worker Holly (Abigail Hardingham), who has a huge crush on Rob.

Rob deals with the loss of Nina by visiting Nina's parents once a week. In the meantime, Rob and Holly start dating and fall head over heals for one another and on the first night they sleep together, something extremely strange happens.

While in the throws of passion, a spot of blood starts to seep through the bed sheets. Of course, neither of the young lovers notice at first, but as they are gripped in sexual heat the blood spot soon becomes a pool, drenching the bed. Out of the blood grows hands, arms, legs. When these hands of the body rising out of the blood pool starts to get involved in the couples sexual exploits, Holly and Rob notice and, to say the least, are shocked! 

Rob's ex-girlfriend Nina (Fiona O'Shaughnessy) is now lying on the bed next to them in full naked glory, covered in blood with all the wounds she received during her fatal car crash. As if this isn't bad enough, Nina is in full blown conversation with both Rob and Holly.

The new couple find themselves trying to deal with what happened. Holly actually deals with this better than Rob does. They try having sex again and sure enough, Nina makes a grand appearance, but this time Rob and Holly try to get Nina involved with the bedroom antics. However, this doesn't last and Holly finds herself being pestered by Nina outside of the sexual activity causing Rob and Holly to split up and go there separate ways. Holly soon realises that this hasn't solved anything...

The first thing I'll say about about this film is this... These types of films are why I attend horror film festivals. Once again, we're treated to a fantastic British horror at Mayhem. In 2013 they had The Borderlands and last year Mayhem showed the Irish film The Canal. Both brilliant movies.

The first thing about Nina Forever that stood out was the cinematography which features some very British scenery that captured the rather bleak but beautiful essence of the surrounding area where the film is set. This bleak beauty was also present within the entire feel of the film.

With solid support from David Troughton (Dan) and Elizabeth Elvin (Sally) as Nina's bereaving parents, both Abigail Hardingham as Holly and Cian Barry as Rob were fantastic in their roles. Both so very natural in what was sometimes a very awkward relationship in the film. Both faultless in their performances. But, it was Fiona O'Shaughnessy portrayal of the living dead girl Nina, that stood ever so slightly above all others. If, like me, you watched Channel 4's Utopia (the only British show I've ever watched religiously!), then you're familiar with how great Fiona is. Her performance as Nina can only be described as weird and wonderful. Possibly the hardest role in the movie, looked executed with ease.

Chris Blain, Mad Mike, Cassandra Sigsgaard, Ben Blain
During the Q&A after the screening, directors Ben Blaine and Chris Blaine revealed that O'Shaughnessy had no interest in doing the film after reading the script and it was a friend that got sick of hearing about "this film" from Fiona who told her that she obviously thought the script was good as Fiona never shut up about it! So thankfully Fiona O'Shaughnessy took the part and in my humble opinion turned out to be perfect for it.

Written and directed by Chris and Ben Blain, besides a TV movie and a handful of shorts, this is their first feature. However, this is not noticed in any way shape or form. After watching the film you'd think they've been doing this for years. It simply is that damn good. The script, while diving into darker issues of dealing with death, personal loss and how that affects those around you, was absolutely hilarious in some places with some extremely British humour. With flawless directing from such a bold script, the film crosses the boundary of multiply genres. The attention to the creaking and twisting of Nina's blooded up and broken body was horror perfection. Some of the sex scenes were extremely erotic and sensual, but cultivated with taste. The humour, quick-witted and brazen. As if all of that wasn't good enough, we're given a very cool soundtrack too.

In fact, the whole film is so fucking cool, that I'm even contemplating getting a Nina Forever tattoo. That how much I loved this movie! Anyway, as normal, I digress...


Nina Forever gets 5 Stars

Check out the trailer below...


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