Crew/Production: Written & Directed by the Blaine Brothers (Ben & Chris), starring Cian Barry as Rob, Abigail Hardingham as Holly, and Fiona O’Shaughnessy as Nina.
Plot: A drama/romance British horror. After the death of his girlfriend, Rob unsuccessfully tries to kill himself. This attracts the younger nice-girl-wanting-to-be-bad Holly; but when they finally have sex, they are literally interrupted by the appearance of his dead girlfriend, coming back to life to torment him.
Thoughts on the film:
• This isn’t strictly a horror film, the idea/premise of a dead person tormenting you (and the copious amounts of blood) make it so – it’s more a darkly romantic drama.
• Although Nina is sarcastic and dry-witted, and there are a few jokes in the film, this isn’t played for laughs. It’s not camp, it’s treated somewhat seriously (if that makes any sense!).
• I consider it a unique take on the stages of grief, in that the new couple have to take steps to rid Nina (i.e. Rob has to overcome his grief and move on), which includes acknowledging and including her appearance, saying goodbye, getting rid of her belongings, breaking ties with Nina’s parents etc. Nina coming up only when Rob is intimate with a new woman/it ending in blood speaks to him having to let go.
• Rob gets Holly into his music, which is indie music, which is both fitting and excellent. Wanted to find the soundtrack to this film straight afterwards.
• This off-kilter dark romance is well cast – the film hinges on the main three, who work very well together and is in tune with the film’s vibe. They really give this film it’s heart, well done!
• I love when characters test the rules of the horror premise, would’ve loved to see/hear more of it – they do see what happens when you have sex in another bed (Nina appears in Rob’s bed initially), and not on a bed at all.
• We get to see where Rob is in his grieving (that he hasn’t let go) as his initially introduces the two (ha!) as his co-worker Holly and his girlfriend Nina. It’s a great scene.
• It’s worth noting the gorgeous Abigail Hardingham has amazing breasts and numerous topless scenes. Even Nina gets in on it as she appears when Holly is lying down, and comes up through the bed while grabbing her breasts from behind. Ha! Nina is also naked (although covered in blood/her hair covers her breasts); and as a crux of the film, a lot of time is spent naked in the bedroom. I appreciate how nudity is portrayed (in that it just happens to be there/sometimes played for laughs), rather than shying away from it like most films (where couples have sex almost fully clothed).
• I appreciated also seeing Nina’s parents vent and their grief.
• The revelation at the end didn’t sit well with me – I didn’t think it made much sense for the characters.
The end twist is that it’s Holly who can’t get over Nina (i.e. Nina’s appearing because of her). I get it with her tattoo and that, but Nina always addressed Rob – Holly isn’t related or was friends with Nina beforehand, and hadn’t met Nina before. She was shown as being far too nice (and wanting to be bad) so it’s too far a stretch to accept this was Nina’s hangup all along. It doesn’t hurt the film, but it just wasn’t great.
Overall, it’s an engaging unique twist on relationships/grieving, if the above sounds interesting to you, give it a watch!