Bluray Review: NINA FOREVER / IMITATION GIRL

Rob (Cian Barry) is trying to recover from the death of his beloved Nina (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) when he meets a co-worker named Holly (Abigail Hardingham). The two are immediately attracted to one another and begin a relationship. One night in Rob’s flat, the couple begin to make love and a third party makes more than an appearance; it’s Rob’s dead girlfriend, Nina. Broken, battered, bloody and, well, dead, Nina slowly crawls out of Rob’s mattress and through the sheets leaving her bloody imprint all over the bed and the young couple. Rob and Holly spring out of bed leaving Nina lying alone in the blood stained sheets. She can barely move, but she is responsive and able to speak clearly. Needless to say, our young couple is in an obvious state of shock, especially Holly who has no idea who this person is/was/…is. Nina goes away (as does Holly), and Rob cleans up the mess.

Missing Rob, Holly eventually shows back up at Rob’s house of horrors. When the couple makes love and again, Nina shows her face…again. Holly would like to move in with her man, but is understandably disturbed by the thought of being the very troubling third wheel. So, she thinks that if she eradicates the apartment off all things Nina, maybe she will no longer have to share Rob with a corpse, or ghost, or whatever Nina now is. Will it work? Or, will threesomes become the norm for the foreseeable future?

Nina Forever is a sincerely strange movie (and I mean that in a good way). I would in no way call it a horror/comedy, but at the same time I don’t think I would call it a horror movie OR a comedy either. I really don’t know what I would call this. I guess the tag-line of “A Fucked Up Fairytale” would best describe it. It is extremely well made and equally well acted. Nina is disturbing to look at and her character is both creepy and clever each time that she shows herself. Rob is portrayed by Cian Barry who does an outstanding job of portraying someone who has no idea what to do and is just sort of rolling with the punches. Abigail Hardingham also did a great job as the young Holly who is in love, shocked, scared, freaked out and confused. She wants Rob, then she doesn’t, then she is willing to accept the Nina situation, then she isn’t. Her character arcs in several different directions and Abigail Hardingham pulls it all off well.

It’s about time this got a bluray release and it looks beautiful. Dread Central delivered on this film and it alone warrants this double feature release. I’m not a fan of the second film, IMITATION GIRL in the least but that is OK. The set up for the film is intriguing, where an alien goop takes the form of a porn star, but after that set up, the film dies. It becomes a copy of IN THE SKIN (That film wasn’t good either) mashed up with E.T. and some other alien on earth ideas. Oh well. Some people may like the quiet emotional journey but I feel it is overshadowed by the much more lively NINA. To be fair, Lauren Ashley Carter is great in the lead. It is often difficult to play two separate characters, even if you only meet for a few moments. I just feel that the story had nowhere to go and the art-house aesthetic doesn’t help.

That being said, the video and audio are sharp and upscale nicely if you are watching on Ulta 4K. The disc was made with care and worth the money. If you are a fan of well made modern horror, this disc is for you. You may love one, you may love both, but Dread Central and Epic have given you a choice which is more than most do! Kudos to them!

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