Spring is a romantic film with a twist of the horror variety that recently premiered in select theaters and on video-on-demand. The movie stars Lou Taylor Pucci and the gorgeous Nadia Hilker and was written by Justin Benson, who also directs, alongside Aaron Moorhead. Veteran actor Pucci plays a bartender in his late twenties named Evan who, to put it lightly, has one of the worst weeks possible.
His mother dies, seemingly of cancer, some tweaker tries to attack his friend with a beer bottle at his work and he gets into a fight at his workplace, knocking out the guy’s teeth and losing his job. When cops show up at his door the next morning, he is sleeping off a hangover. Since he figures it is a good idea to get out of town and clear his head he hops on a flight to Italy and continues his drinking career abroad. He meets a pair of English tourists and they quickly become friends through the comrade ritual of drinking, sexual preferences and pot. They rent a car and head off on a road trip to the Italian coast.
After a day or two of drinking the English boys take off, leaving Evan to his own devices, like chasing after the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, played by Nadia Hilker, and connecting with an old farmer to work in lieu of rent for a room. Just in time for Spring harvest. The girl’s name ends up being Louise, who is supposedly a university student studying genetics. They go on a date, make love, and then we are treated to more of why Louise studies genetics as she wakes with a fright, and a hunger. Apparently Evan’s luck is not changing in quite the way he would like, even though the Spring equinox is days away.
Louise has some type of shape shifting condition that she is able to keep at bay with regular injections of some unknown substance. The sunlight also appears to harm her in ways similar to the more traditional monsters known as vampires. Later, the viewers are treated to some skin shedding like a snake, and the sacrificing of kittens and bunnies to re-form Louise’s more humanoid form. Spring becomes more and more a movie worth watching until the end.
While working as a Spring farmhand for rent, Evan attempts to get advice from the old farmer and a beautiful piece comes into play as Evan asks what he should do about this girl he is falling in love with, because he is starting to notice signs that something about her is off. His boss simply tells him, “pick your poison, women are the jewels of the Earth.” Quite fitting since Louise has one eye the color of jade and the other a translucent brown. One evening while deteriorating, Louise is almost raped mid transformation by a Spring time tourist. Lets just say the American rapist on vacation gets his just deserts.
As Evan and Louise’s love grows, Evan begins to feel that Louise is his one and only. Unfortunately, Louise feels she needs to break it off, knowing that it will only be a matter of time before Evan discovers her secret. The next day Evan goes back to her home, and hears tables and lamps being knocked over, so he busts through the door. He finds Louise in her fully altered form, writhing on the floor. Seeing a hypodermic syringe filled with her potion on the floor, he injects her and she transforms back to her human form.
We come to find she suffers from a genetic condition that allows her to live for thousands of years, and only stem cells keep her from mutating into a form that is as beautifully original as it is shocking to see. In the most simple of terms, every 20 years she needs to become pregnant in order to give birth to a new form of herself on the day of the Spring equinox. Evan finds all this out and deals with it as best he can. The remainder of the film is best for viewers to discover by watching, keeping in mind that love can conquer all.
Every character in Spring is heartfelt and well acted, and even with some of the strange situations that come into play, the performances given come completely organically. It is as if the actors are not acting but living their parts. Giving this film a score of eight out of ten, Spring is a must watch film for any viewer who wants to squirm, laugh and maybe even cry all at once. Spring knocks the ball right out of the park and is worthy of critical praise.
Review by Benjamin Johnson
Viewing of Spring
Photo by Kay Vee – Flickr License