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Spring

Spring (2014) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  109m  •    •  Directed by: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead.  •  Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Francesco Carnelutti, Nick Nevern, Chris Palko, Jonathan Silvestri, Jeremy Gardner, Vinny Curran, Holly Hawkins, Augie Duke, Shane Brady, Vanessa Bednar, Kenzo Lee.  •  Music by: Jimmy Lavalle.
        After his life is upended by tragedy, an aimless young man makes an impromptu exodus to Italy, where he's enchanted by an exotic beauty withholding an unfathomable secret.

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 2:18
 
 2:00
 
 

Review:

Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
Image from: Spring (2014)
From the makers of "The Endless", here's another very good horror film. But not just: Benson and Moorhead don't do "straight" horror films. That'd be too boring. They are highly talented, and clearly far more ambitious than your run-of-the-mill horror hineys who only seem to understand (and feel comfortable around) clich├ęs. The other film is a sci-fi mystery, this time we get a romantic drama. (Obviously the chronological order is reversed.) These two are the closest to any kind of "great cinematic hopes" that I've come across is in a very long time. I just hope they don't get swallowed up by America's contemporary quality-crushing, imagination-destroying, politically-charged film industry, in which case they well be reduced to utter uselessness like all the others. The most promising directorswriters - the extremely few there are - do perhaps one good movie then immediately fall off the wagon, never becoming productive again. (Creating garbage does not count as being productive, obviously.) Odds are that Benson and Moorehead will start failing in the future too, but who knows...

Once we get used to the main character being short and having a small head (basically looking like a more intelligent version of a 15 year-old skinhead), we can gradually start accepting the somewhat far-fetched premise that he manages to easily woo a really hot Italian woman, right upon arriving to Europe. Sure, she has ulterior motives and very dark secrets, but she could have just as easily picked some other guy for the continuation of her "immortality rejuvenation cycle". I am not a fan of "unequal" pairings in cinemaTV, or even in real life. Dunno, it just annoys me. No, I don't mean couples like Jolie and Billy-Joe-Bob: they perfectly suited each other. (Jolie's "beauty" is vastly overrated.)

While Pucci's role could have gone to any number of actors, the casting of the female lead was key to the film's success, and must have been a real chore for the producers. Just any random beautiful actress would simply not do. (Especially not a 6-foot anorexic ex-model with the charisma of a fish and the acting skills of a king crab - despite the fact that fish and crab are involved in her character to some extent too.) The script is good, the premise fascinating and original, but none of it would have worked without a suitable actress in the role of the ancient "monster". Nadia Hilker was hence a great choice, she helps hold the film together, helps it draw out the maximum potential. She can pass off as Italian, but she has the kind of unusual, exotic features that make her difficult to pin down which adds mystery.

Very ironically, Nadia is German (though obviously some sort of ethnic mix i.e. only part-German), while Pucci whose character can't say a word of Italian seems to be of Italian origin.

The tricky part was how he was going to react to the truth about Nadia. I believe his first reaction was handled rather well, though I believe they couldshould have postponed his eventual acceptance of the bizarre truthsituation a little, just to make it more realistic. Sure, they didn't want to drag it out because they wanted to prove just how madlybadly in love he is, so it's forgivable.

What follows is very atypical for a horror movie, to say the least. The last half-hour or so does not have a high-energy action finale with screaming and gore-galore, as one would expect, but the total opposite: the movie becomes an almost full-on romantic drama. Nevertheless, while I literally never watch that useless genre, Benson and Moorhead made it work. Partly because it isn't just an empty-headed rom-drama but is based on interesting ideas regarding mortality, re-birth, and ultimately the "choice" Nadia does or does not make as to the couple's future. I am not saying it's a perfect 30 minutes, but it works well toward a conclusion that should gratify not just any stray female viewers that somehow got to watch this film, but all viewers seeking something more than mindless zombie, boring vampires and idiotic teens.

It is interesting that in an age when 90% of all horror movies have "downer endings", Benson and Moorhead's both movies (that I've checked out so far) have happy endings. In that sense too they stray from the norm. Straying from the norm - especially in this day and useless cinema age - is highly commendable, because it's so rare. Few film-makers have the balls to try new things, not to conform. Especially in the 21st century which, by all accounts, is gearing up to be THE century of conformity.


Review by fedor8 from the Internet Movie Database.

 

Off-Site Reviews:

Mar 11 2015, 11:25