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Spring (Benson & Moorhead, 2014) is an interesting proposition, it’s a film that attempts and succeeds to defy expectations. Like the directors previous film, Resolution (Benson & Moorhead, 2012), it provides a unique take on the horror genre but also encompasses tropes we associate with others.
The film starts in America, in some generic, white trash town in the middle of nowhere. Evan’s (Lou Taylor Pucci) mother has just died from cancer and after the funeral, when out drinking with a friend – a small cameo here from actor/director, Jeremy Gardener who directed The Battery (Gardener, 2012) – Evan picks a fight with the wrong guy and ends up having to skip town. At first you’ll ponder if this is going to turn into a gangster flick, where Evan is chased halfway around the world. It doesn’t.
Evan decides – with a little help from a fellow commuter – to travel to Italy. From here the film morphs into a road movie, as Evan accompanies a couple of ‘Brits abroad’. However, when these drug/larger fuelled morons decide that Italy is too expensive, Evan decides to stay put and pursue Louise (Nadia Hilker), a beautiful Italian woman he met (briefly) the night before. And unsurprisingly, here’s where the real fun begins.
Despite Louise’s reluctance to accept Evan’s offer of a date – she’d much prefer a one-night stand – she eventually agrees to meet him for something a little more substantial than a ‘quickie’. As Evan’s feelings for Louise grow, as the two begin dating, so his feelings of anguish about the loss of his mother subside, however, Louise has a rather dark secret.
Due to some bizarre genetic birth defect, Louise’s body changes shape, at one point she appears to be changing into a werewolf and then later, a sea monster (of some variety). You see, even the prettiest people come with baggage – oh, and she’s also over 2000 years old! Awkward.
As the film develops and Evan becomes fully aware of Louise’s condition, and what with overstaying his visa, the two go ‘on the run’ together and even visit Louise’s original home… in Pompeii. And this marks the film’s final swerve, as it meanders into romantic indy flick territory.
Spring might overstay its welcome, just a tad, but it’s relatively comparable to Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy, albeit with tentacles of death, but that isn’t a bad thing. Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are proving themselves to be two very genre savvy directors, whose films are far from horrific. Horror enthusiasts should definitely seek this out.
Spring is part of the BFI London Film Festival and it is being screened to the public on Friday, October 10 and Sunday, October 12. Visit the website for more information.