A new breed of horror films are on the rise – genre-bending films that are hard to label as strictly horror or strictly thriller. Over the past decade, the horror/comedy genre has been mastered with Dead Snow, Shaun of the Dead, Teeth, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Tusk, and the like. Now, we are seeing the genre hybrid with romance. Typically you think of vampire films like Interview with the Vampire, Let Me In, and Thirst. And then comes along a film like Spring which is almost impossible to categorize. Horror. Romance. Science Fiction. What a combo.
Spring tells the dark love story of Evan and Louise. Evan (played by Lou Taylor Pucci) is grieving the recent loss of his mother and decides to book a one way flight to Italy. It is here, in a small coastal town, that he meets the sultry, Italian girl, Louise (played by Nadia Hilker). Their attraction is immediate and so begins a blossoming and whirlwind romance.
Pucci is a great choice to play Evan. He plays emotional characters well and is a character that the audience can sympathize with. You may recognize him from Thumbsucker, The Chumscrubber, and the recent remake of Evil Dead. The onscreen chemistry between Pucci and Hilker is believable and a joy to watch. I believe this is the first American film for Nadia Hilker. I’ve never seen her in anything else but I’m sure we can expect to see her a lot more in the future.
And then the horror part comes in. Louise has secrets and may not be what she seems. Louise tells Evan that she has a medical condition that comes and goes. It seems to be catching up with her though, and her only option is to push Evan away. Don’t worry, I won’t give any spoilers. You can guess all you want but I can guarantee this is one film where you won’t be able to predict the outcome. The concept of the film, when it is first revealed, was a little hard for me to wrap my head around. This isn’t just a plot twist. It is a mind-trip.
Spring is a ground-breaking and highly enigmatic film. It is heartwarming and frightening all at the same time. In a strange way, it gives me the same uneasy feeling I experienced when I saw Vanilla Sky for the first time. There is an underlying theme of mortality that is perplexing and mystifying. I have a feeling that this new wave of horror movies is going to be fantastic if Spring is representative of what is to come. This could even possibly be one of the best years for horror movies in a long time.
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Thanks Director, Justin Benson, for tweeting about my review!
Rent this film on Amazon.