Release Date: September 5th, 2014 (TIFF)
Directed by: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Written by: Justin Benson
Music by: Jimmy LaValle, Sigur Rós
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker
Drafthouse Films, FilmBuff, 109 Minutes
I came across this film on Hulu while browsing around. The trailer made it look interesting enough, so I checked it out. Also, it starred Lou Taylor Pucci, who I have liked in several films – most notably, The Chumscrubber, Thumbsucker, Southland Tales and the Evil Dead remake. It also starred Nadia Hilker, who was pretty mesmerizing in this role. Then again, that’s probably just her.
Spring is a mixture of romance and Lovecraftian horror. I went into this blindly and as it evolved, I immediately thought it was a werewolf film, especially when the monster starts transforming and with some of the occult imagery. As the film moves on, it gets way more bizarre than a werewolf film and shows you that it is something else entirely.
The setup and the story builds quite nicely. The problem, is that the explanation for the supernatural stuff is shit. The last third of the film just turns into a steaming pile of crap after a solid build up. But then again, even with the build up and suspense, I still thought they revealed a bit too much, too soon.
Also, the film’s horrible CGI was distracting. Between some of the monster transformations and blood splatter, it looked like something a 12 year-old on YouTube could do. The worst part about that, is that the film is beautiful. The locations in Italy are majestic and alluring, the camera work was stellar, the color palate and lighting – perfect. The spliced in CGI just stood out like a sore thumb when placed in this visually pleasing art piece.
Additionally, the plot just wasn’t believable. Here you have Pucci’s “head over heels” emotional toddler somehow attracting a woman who has lived for thousands of years. He spouts some of the worst written romantic lines I’ve ever heard, such as, “I’m gonna miss the hell out of you. Like it’s gonna fucking hurt… bad.” Whoa, brah! That’s deep love. And an ancient chick didn’t just stab this dude brah through the damn throat?
The ending is underwhelming. Even if you think it is worth sticking it out till the end, it isn’t.
In fact, other than the scenery, the only thing I liked was the old Italian dude that let the American illegal immigrant live in his house. I’m going to look that guy up if I ever decide to take off to Italy to start a new life.