A “fucked up fairytale” was how the tagline presented the film. This small British film that has gathered a slow burning reputation since its release at Frightfest 2015 and does present some interesting filmmaking. Story and plot wise it is nothing new and not a million miles away from the likes of Ghost (1990) and Truly Madly Deeply (1991). In both these films there is a partner at the centre who is suffering incomprehensible grief at the loss their significant other. Both films are also very romantic, whereas Nina Forever has a deeper psychological cynicism about it.
Nina Forever opens with Rob attempting to commit suicide by coming off his bike in a fairly abstract sequence during the films open where he makes a half hearted attempt to come off his bike. We soon learn that his girlfriend Nina had been killed in a car crash. Rob is going through ennui as he muddles through his dead end job in a supermarket. There he meets the good looking Holly who is training to be a paramedic and also works at the supermarket as a check-out girl. They date, connect and fall for each other. She seems to like this seemingly dangerous guy (who jay walks across the North Circular) and eventually the pair passionately kiss before getting down to it on the bed. During the throws of lovemaking blood appears through the white sheets, before we eventually some bloody hands and a form appear from between the sheets. The form takes human shape in the mangled bloody form of Nina who gets between Rob and Holly, entwining with their bodies. Naturally Holly is shocked but soon becomes together with Rob and tries to understand the nature of his relationship with the jealous Nina who, from beyond the grave comes between the couple.
On further study, Nina Forever is a smart and clever horror romance but something doesn’t quite click despite its obvious intellect. It has, like mentioned previously clear antecedents with other popular films and has an erotic frisson about it desperately missing from the aforementioned films. One of the films strongest elements are Oli Russel’s very well constructed framings within the camera and works better in the urban and natural landscapes than it does in the more claustrophobic up close and personal interiors in which Nina appears. The reputation of the film will either grow or diminish but the release by StudioCanal has garnered some interest. There are three documentaries on the disc about the making of the film.