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Spring (2014)

Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Written by Justin Benson

Starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Jeremy Gardner,

Francesco Carnelutti, Nick Nevern, Jonathan Silvestri.

 

When his mother loses her battle with cancer just a short time after his father also tragically dies in an accident, Evan (Pucci) feels lost and alone in the world. When a bar fight gets him in trouble and his friends tell him he needs a change of scenery he takes their advice and gets the hell out of Dodge. (or L.A.) He grabs his passport and randomly picks Italy as his destination.

Once there he takes in the sights and nightlife and soon bumps into Tom and Sam, two Brits who just want to get pissed drunk and have a good time. Evan clicks with the lads and the following morning the three of them hire a car and go on a road trip down the Italian coast, checking out the beautiful scenery and having great banter along the way. They stop at an old seaside village called Rosaria and while walking around Evan makes eye contact with a really hot girl, then later that night bumps into her again at a bar. He tries to flirt with her but fails, much to Tom and Sam's amusement. 

 

The following morning the two Brits tell Evan they're leaving for Amsterdam but he decides to stay. He takes a job working at a nearby farm and later that day he bumps into the girl again. Her name is Louise and she's a student placed in the town to study its evolutionary genetics (apparently) and they immediately hit it off - they go to a museum, get some coffee, some alcohol, flirting and then they get it on. He wakes up the following morning to find her gone but what we witness before that is pretty scary!

 

He meets her again that evening and she invites him back to her place for dinner. By now we see that Louise is obviously going through some sort of transformation but she takes injections to keep it under control. Evan gets more and more suspicious when he finds one of her syringes, even more so when she refuses to have her photo taken and even weirder that dead animals are turning up all over town. As he falls more in love with her she becomes more distant and eventually tells him they need to stop seeing each other, obviously for fear of his safety.

Devastated he goes to drown his sorrows but as soon as he gets drunk he goes banging on her door. He hears weird noises coming from within and breaks down the door, only to see her at her worst and most hideous. Evan freaks out (as you do) but eventually calms down and comes to terms with what he saw and what she is and she tells him all about her past and why she can't be with him. She reveals that she only has a few days left before her body finally goes through a complete change, along with her mind, one where he won’t recognise her and she won’t remember him. The couple decide to go on a trip to spend their final hours together where she can show him the places and relics of her past lives, and existence spanning over 2,000 years. 

 

Spring is another one of those films that popped up out of nowhere for me as I had never even heard of it before I saw the poster for it just last week. Man I really need to get my radar back on track!

What sold me on it right away was the poster blurb "A hybrid of Richard Linklater and H.P. Lovecraft", not so much Linklater but I’m a massive fan of Lovecraft. Directors Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson are names I'm not familiar with; their most notable work to date is their 'Bonestorm' segment on VHS: Viral, one that I really enjoyed. They also worked together on the 2012 film Resolution which I checked out soon after watching this and I really enjoyed it as well. Benson also wrote the film and Moorhead did the cinematography which says a lot because if anything it's well written and looks amazing. Nadia Hilker who played Louise is a beautiful German actress who hasn't done much yet other than some TV shows in her homeland but I hope to see more of her in the future. Lou Taylor Pucci is no stranger to horror having starred in the 2009 infection movie Carriers and also in the 2013 Evil Dead remake. He is probably better known for playing St. Jimmy in Green Day's Jesus Of Suburbia video. One actor that stood out for me even though he only had a short time on screen was Nick Nevern who played Thomas one of the Brit backpackers. Most people outside of Britain and Ireland probably won’t recognise him as before this he starred in mostly Brit crime and hooligan flicks, this was an awesome change  for him I’m sure and hopefully from now on he'll star in more international films and anything other than his usual ''Danny Dyer'' type roles.

 

So overall I loved Spring, probably more than a some people but I see that it's touring the festivals at the moment and getting a lot of great criticism and deservedly so.

The performances from the two leads was astounding, you truly believed every emotion from them and the more Evan fell for Louise I could feel myself falling for her as well, despite her one tiny flaw. The relationship Evan had with the old farmer Angelo was also very subtle and peculiar but very sweet and believable at the same time. The mixture of practical and cg effects were blended together nicely and I thought they looked awesome, especially the transformation scene. This isn't just a creature feature with a big of romance thrown in, it's a film about dealing with loss, leaving things behind and new beginnings, relationships and sacrifices, true love in all its' beauty and ugliness. If H.P. Lovecraft was alive today and still writing this would be his love story for horror fans - 

an anti-Twilight.