Directors | Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Producers | Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, David Clarke Lawson, Jr.
Writer | Justin Benson
Cast | Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Francesco Carnelutti
Run Time | 109 mins
Certificate | 15
Plot | After getting into a bar fight following his mother’s funeral, Evan (Pucci) is convinced to take some time out and go travelling. On a whim, he ends up in Bologna where he meets local girl Louise (Hilker). Instantly infatuated, Evan finds work on a nearby farm so as to spend time with his new flame. Unfortunately it’s not just her heart he needs to win over – it’s her tail and tentacles too.
Review | Described as romance, science fiction, horror and everything in between, Spring is not your average monster movie. Though it takes a little while to get going, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution) have created something unexpectedly refreshing with their second full feature.
At times mistakable for a Linklater talky romance, Spring bristles with a (mostly) smart script with a darkly comedic edge. There is genuine chemistry between the leads, and it shows. However, the playful courtship between the leads could easily have been for nought. In lesser hands, it’s juxtaposition with the Lovecraftian twist could have signalled catastrophe. If it’s too melodramatic, the audience will be lost with the jarring disconnect. If too schmaltzy, it will becomes the worst kind of young adult fan fiction. Thankfully, the writing and performances just about strike the right balance.
As with a lot of early works from talented creators, there is some roughness around the edges. The first twenty minutes or so plod on, and the British supporting cast that appears briefly in Bologna is quite hit and miss. Also, while there is enough time given to the darker side of the plot, it does feel like it could have been fleshed out a little more, and could have been made a little creepier. The ending is also probably a little predictable. Still, Spring’s originality mostly makes up for its pitfalls.
The Verdict | If Let the Right One In was the benchmark for coming-of-age drama that happens to contain horror tropes, then Spring is a romantic equivalent – albeit a more flawed one. A great date night movie for couples that like a little Slither with their Before Sunset.