In the last few years, we have seen a number of zombie relationship comedies with the likes of the comedies A Little Bit Zombie (2012) and Life After Beth (2014) and the more serious likes of Zombie Honeymoon (2004) and Make-Out With Violence (2008). While it can not exactly be considered a zombie film, Nina Forever falls into a similar vein. In particular, what it reminds a good deal of is Joe Dantes Burying the Ex (2014), a weak and anaemic comedy about a guy becoming involved with another girl after his girlfriend is killed only for the girlfriend to return from the dead insisting they are still together.
Burying the Ex felt filled with weak jokes playing off the zombie film and the complications caused by the central triangle. By contrast, Nina Forever takes an almost identical plot set-up and pushes it about as far as it can go without holding anything back. Rather than just lame situation comedy jokes, this has the undead girlfriend turning up in bed between the couple, where Abigail Hardingham even tries to turn it into a threesome between guy, girl and undead girlfriend at one point. The Blaine brothers grasp the plot elements with a thematic depth that makes for an extraordinary work that sits in the same kind of queasy modern sexual horror hybrid as It Follows (2014).
Nina Forever may well be the best Clive Barker film that Barker never made there is much of the dark and grisly labyrinth of desires that reach beyond the grave that we had in Hellraiser (1987). The situation becomes an extraordinarily allegorical one where the undead Nina is seen as representative of the memory who is there because Cian Bary cannot erase her from his mind. The script twists and turns around this idea with an unexpected adeptness. The dialogue that the Blaine brothers give Fiona OShaughnessy is extraordinarily haunted. All of the cast give extremely good performances the only name among any of them one has even heard of before is David Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor Who but it is Fiona OShaughnessy who delivers her part with an hilarious blackness that quite becomes the icing on the cake.
(Winner for Best Supporting Actress (Fiona OShaughnessy) at this sites Best of 2015 Awards).
(Screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival)