“Love is a Monster” As taglines go, that will definitely peak the interest of any horror fan. At first appearance from the poster as well as the trailer Spring has the makings of a horror/monster movie with a love story flavoring. In reality it is a love tale cloaked as horror with a dash of science fiction, making it that much better.
This independent delicacy is about a man in California, Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) who loses his mother to a battle with cancer. After an emotionally charged bar fight he decides to leave for a trip to Italy in order to escape any possible jail time for the assault. Evan arrives at a hostel and meets two Europeans, the three soon decide to rent a car and take a road trip south along the coast. In one of the cities Evan makes acquaintance with an absolutely beautiful local, Louise (Nadia Hilker) and decides to part ways with his European friends and take up work for room and board with a local farmer.
Immersing himself in the culture and doing his best to learn the language, Evan incessantly courts the attention and time of Louise who obviously shares the mutual infatuation, but she holds a dark secret.
The plot builds an intense emotional as well as physical relationship between the two, and with Nadia Hilker no one can blame the main character as anyone could easily fall in love with the charming Louise as well.
Her mystery is revealed and Louise admits to Evan that she is a primordial left over of evolution with an immortal life span. Her body requires the consumption of flesh on a consistent basis or her genetic instincts will mutate her into a monstrous form depicting various traits of the evolutionary chain. Louise’s immortality and genetic anomaly can be interrupted with the chemical compounds in our brain secreted only when we feel the impulsive connection of love. But what is love exactly? Can you choose to love or is it an involuntary feeling that we happen to chance upon?
The film moves effortlessly, consistently entertaining from beginning to end. The relationships are authentic from the passionate connection between Louise and Evan, to the hilarious interactions between him and his European friends, or the farmer acting as the dearly level headed father figure he never had.
The phenomenal scenery shot on location in Bari, and Conversano are amazing and draw your eye to the spectacular direction of coastal settings,to the architectural splendor of the Italian cities along with their historical ruins.
Visually Spring is all around eye candy, that aspect alone is enough to make this movie a treat and would be a crime not savor the landscape and picturesque backdrop while watching.
Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead were named at Palm Springs International Film Festival as “Directors to Watch For” and it is no surprise, with a cast staring Lou Taylor Pucci who was in the Evil Dead re-imagining and Nadia Hilker cast in the the next Divergent films, the acting and sentimental connection does not disappoint.
Spring was an immensely pleasant surprise, this movie took me for a turn and I was enthralled with the unexpected structure as well as direction. I feel this is an unappreciated love/horror and it saddens me when a film like this goes under the radar and is not given its due credit. I would like to see this film grab a larger audience and get the recognition it deserves, yet I do selfishly enjoy the fact that I could cherish it as my own secret gem.