Take a Drink: whenever somebody else does
Take a Drink: whenever something shitty happens to Evan
Take a Drink: for curious nature imagery
Take a Drink: fucking tourists
Do a Shot: what the fuuuuucckkkk?
Take a Drink: for… outbreaks?
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
When the festival reviews for a film are calling it a mix of Richard Linklater and David Cronenberg, you know I’m gonna be all over it. What does that even mean?
The mind goes some strange, unfortunately explored places.
Spring follows a young American guy, Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci), who decides after a messy bar fight and losing his mother that now’s a good a time as ever to take a flight… anywhere. Anywhere turns out to be beautiful Italia, and after ending up in a gorgeous rustic seaside town he decides here’s as good a place as any to start over. It doesn’t hurt that he’s caught the eye of a beautiful, mysterious woman, Louise (Nadia Hilker). However, she’s a got a secret or two that might complicate things a bit…
Earning a comparison to either Linklater or Cronenberg is high praise, but you’ll certainly understand why after the first hour or so. On the former hand, directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead show an easy facility for creating a realistic atmosphere where their characters feel wholly realized, and that coupled with Benson’s very natural dialogue and Pucci and Hilker’s fantastic chemistry yields an easy-going, realistic romantic progression that definitely gives off some Before Sunrise vibes. I also particularly liked how Evan is immediately distrustful when Louise comes onto him. Is she a scammer? A kidney thief? A prostitute? She’s too damn hot to be interested in him without an ulterior motive, right?
A realistic touch Hollywood’s never gonna get behind.
What’s crazy about Spring, though, is how it’s every bit as much a gory, slimy, freaky horror film as it is an engaging romance. I won’t go into how, exactly, because a nice chunk of the fun is in the reveal, but it’ll suffice it to say that it does that part of the job just about as well as the romance, although I’d have to invoke John Landis’s name over Cronenberg’s in comparison. It’s a prime mixture of sensual and grotesque, and even though it goes some visceral, crazy places, it stays true to its characters, which really sets it apart. One last shout-out to Moorhead’s slick, sun-kissed cinematography, which will have you looking at vacation packages regardless of the *ahem* Freudian consequences of being an American tourist in this film.
The conventional makeup work here is aces, but they do resort to some occasionally ropey CGI where arguably they would have been better off making the most of what their makeup artists could do.
The elderly Italian man who Evan rooms with and works for has a few good exchanges with him, but overall feels kind of superfluous considering how their relationship ends. Also, as with most scifi/horror, don’t strain yourself thinking about the particulars of the story too hard…
Spring is a Frankenstein’s monster of horror and romance that works way better that it should. If you’re a fan of either genre, you’ll find something to love, and if you’re a fan of audacious cinema, you’ll be caught hook, line, and sinker.