Genre: Drama / Horror
Directors: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Jeremy Gardner, Francesco Carnelutti, Vanessa Bednar
Love is a monster
Evan’s life is falling apart. He lost his mother to cancer after taking care of her for a long time. He lost his job due to a fight with a local thug and he has nothing in his future to look forward to. After a drunken suggestion from his friend Tommy, he decides to pack his bags and head to Italy for a fresh start.
His new life in Italy starts out being the same as in the states. He drinks with questionable new friends and does not do much to improve his life. That changes however when he comes across a beautiful and strange girl that he tries to ask out. He is sort of rejected, but when he finds her again they start a relationship that will change his life forever.
Spring was the highlight for me at this years Ramaskrik festival. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are a pair of young promising filmmakers that had a minor hit with Resolution a few years ago (which I at this point have not seen yet, but it got bumped way high on my to-watch list after seeing this one) and this is a film that hopefully should give them some great projects in the future.
First off, even though this has played on horror festivals all over the world it is not a straight up horror film. This is more a romantic drama with some H.P. Lovecraft added to it. The script is written by Benson and it is great, everything from the characters to the dialogue is all natural, believable and unique.
The first half of the film only focus on Evan, played by Lou Taylor Pucci. He is your average joe with a good heart. Pucci makes the character become very likeable and human. It is very easy to feel for his character and relate to him. Once his love interest Louise is introduced we still see things from the point of view of Evan, but also spend enough time with the Louise character to also feel and care for her. Louise is played by the gorgeous Nadia Hilker and she is also great as the mysterious, sexy and vulnerable Louise.
Not only do they both deliver great performances, but they also have excellent chemistry together and their relationship is interesting to watch evolve. The horror element of the film lies in the character of Louise. Without spoiling anything, you will not get what you would expect once her secret is revealed. It’s different, a bit funny and sad, all at the same time.
It is not a perfect film of course. The final part seem to drag on a bit too long. It’s almost like the filmmakers didn’t want it to get to the ending. I think there was room for cutting away nearly ten minutes of the last thirty to make it feel tighter and more solid. I would also have gone a different route with the ending as I think it would make more sense with the an opposite type of ending.
The movie is filmed in Italy and they take full advantage of the beauty of the country. The cinematography is excellent, the locations are great and the entire film just makes me want to plan a new trip to the beautiful country and hopefully find myself a Louise on my own. There’s also some great music scores by Jimmy Lavalle here that should also get some praise and recognition.
Spring is a great film about love and how hard it is to lose people close to you. It’s got outstanding performances, both in front and behind the camera and it is an interesting story well worth your time.