film / tv / streaming / politics / web / celeb/ news / video / love / lists / think pieces / misc / staff / advertise / cbr
film / tv / streaming / politics / web / celeb

Review: Sexy, Sinister And Smart 'Nina Forever' Is Much More Than The Threesome With A Corpse Rom-Com

By Kristy Puchko | Film | February 10, 2016 | Comments ()

By Kristy Puchko | Film | February 10, 2016 |


NinaForever.jpg

Come for the WTF, stay for the wicked humor and shockingly compelling romance.

At first glance, Nina Forever, the British horror-comedy that drew raves out of SXSW, might look like a tawdry excuse to display two naked, but gore-caked women rolling around in bed together. But that gruesome gimmick is just one crucial ingredient to what makes this creepy curiosity so distinctly dark and delicious. Much like the three heroes of this fucked up fairy tale, there’s much more to Nina Forever than meets the eye.

Written and directed by Ben and Chris Blaine, Nina Forever centers on the unusual romance that blossoms between goody-two-shoes grocery clerk Holly (Abigail Hardingham) and suicidal stock boy Rob (Cian Barry). In the wake of his girlfriend Nina’s fatal car accident, Rob has become a leered-at loner, snagging Holly’s eye with his anti-social behavior and self-destructive drive. After bonding over rock music and a discussion of scars, trouble arises when they wind up in his bed. And by trouble, I mean the sneering corpse of his dead girlfriend. Don’t you dare call her an ex. When Nina (a fierce and fabulous Fiona O’Shaughnessy) scorns Rob for bringing another girl into their bed, the rattled beau sputters, “You’re dead!” To which Nina seethes with deadly side-eye, “That doesn’t mean we’re on a break though, does it?”

Rejecting the jump scares that have become frustratingly standard in modern horror, the Blaine Brothers favor building dread. Nina’s first appearances is teased with a small dot of blood on a white sheet growing bigger, darker, more alarming. Then ascends Nina, full-bodied, broken, bloody yet beautiful. Accompanying her is a whir of gut-churning sound effects, the crunching of bone, gurgles of blood, gasping breath and a distant heart monitor beeping into oblivion. And there she is, terrible yet captivating.

The Blaines’ brand of gallows humor blisters in their banter, but is positively brilliant in Nina’s sick and subversive physical gags. She’s half wet dream and half nightmare. Her breathy voice sultry yet sinister, coming not from a desire to seduce, but from punctured lungs and a throat filled with windshield glass. The way she flings her head of rich black hair about is not so much a power move, but the result of her snapped spine. Just as her tendency to lean against furniture or rest her head along her wrist is matter of support, not striking a provocative pose. Nina is a glorious monster constructed on contradictions.

NinaForever1web.jpg

Her lips slicked with blood like lip-gloss. Her eyes ringed in eyeliner smudged by sweat and tears. Her skin flawless save for the open wounds. She is sex and death as well as an embodied memory, fractured, fascinating yet frightening. And with her withering barbs and lurid yet rickety physicality, O’Shaughnessy creates a creature destined to become a horror icon. But for all this, and the inescapable spectacle of the actress’s all-nude performance, what really grounds the horror of Nina’s undead existence is the devilish wit and deranged pathos this striking actress brings to each moment and every awkward angle.

While O’Shaughnessy’s scenes are the most fantastic and fantastical, it’s Hardingham and Barry that make this movie more than a collection of gloriously bizarre bits. Together they create a quirky couple that you can’t help but root for, whether they’re binning the blood-drenched sheets or turning a printing press into foreplay.

nina_forever_still.jpg

Frustrated by being written off as “vanilla” and “sweet,” Holly seeks to explore her dark side with the brokenhearted bad boy. Hardingham displays not just her body, but a heady blend of resilience and vulnerability as Holly seeks to get closer to Rob, and get rid of Nina and all the pools of blood she leaves behind. One of the film’s most riveting and uncomfortable scenes shows Holly trying to ingratiate Nina into her lovemaking with Rob, hoping to include her will soothe this savage beast. Meanwhile, Barry brings a poignant desperation to Rob, who is not only torn between two women but also between a desire to die and to live on. Basically, while the corpse in their bed may be the most obvious obstacle in their relationship, it’s not the only one.

The Brothers Blaine tease out the relationship drama amid bitingly macabre humor and strange sex appeal, climaxing in a sequence that’s as hilarious as it is poignant and twisted, much like its titular creature. Simply put, Nina Forever is WTF in the best way possible.

Now, I’ll admit this bawdy body-horror rom-com may not make for ideal Valentine’s Day viewing. Mileage may vary. But Nina Forever is so rich with paradox—being ghastly yet gorgeous, sick yet sexy, disturbing yet tender—that it crackles with a dangerous charm and refuses to be forgotten.

Nina Forever is in limited release and on VOD.


Get entertainment, celebrity and politics updates via Facebook or Twitter. Buy Pajiba merch at the Pajiba Store.

Stephen King Confirms Those Glorious Dark Tower Casting Rumors | Ava DuVernay Schools Hollywood On Inclusion In Four Short Tweets




Bigots, Trolls & MRAs Are Not Welcome in the Comments


The Pajiba Store


petr-store-pajiba.png




Privacy Policy