Directed: by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hiker, Francesco Carnelutti, Nick Nevern, Chris Palko
Written by: Justin Benson
Music by: Jimmy LaValle
From the opening scene to the ending “Spring” is one of the best films that was released in 2014, and is on my list of all-time favourite films. Guillermo De Toro has said that it “is one of the best horror films of the decade” and that it is the only Lovecraftian film “that has blown me away.” I really couldn’t agree more in all honesty.
It is a film that genuinely surprised me, and I found it completely unpredictable. The quote on the UK release DVD cover sums it up perfectly.
“Like Clive Barker made a sequel to Before Sunrise.”
“Spring” is a perfect character driven horror. It depicts a completely believable and realistic love story. It is intelligent, touching, and tender. It perfectly captures all the facets of the human condition and what defines us as human beings. Love, tolerance, mortality, and acceptance of a person for who they are. It is beautifully realistic in it’s depiction of love and relationships.
The two leads are completely engaging and they play their roles to perfection. They play the relationship beautifully with great chemistry between them and so obviously took complete advantage of the brilliant material they were given to work with. “Spring” depicts perfectly that real love is to love someone for all their goodness, and all their faults. There is a monologue in “Spring” that in its poetic beauty encapsulates this and what it means to be human.
You maybe be saying as you’re reading this “Hang on “Spring” sounds like a drama.” Well I am focusing on the fact that it is a character driven love story because that is what sets it apart from many horror films. Having a strong emotional connection to the characters is what heightens the horror in any horror film. “Spring” achieves this brilliantly, but not in a cheap jump scare way. It takes its time to flesh out the characters and relationships. Something I find so many horror films neglect to do. So have no fear in a very original way it is a horror film too.
It is by far one of the most original horror films, maybe even films, that I have seen in a long time. It is near on cinematic perfection. The direction, cinematography, writing, editing, music and acting were superb. I found it a highly original film that genuinely does redefine what a horror film is. It is a perfect antidote to many of the the generic horror films that play at the multiplexes. Its a shame that films such as this that are made with so much originality and heart get lost among the generic by the numbers mainstream Hollywood horror films that are common place nowadays. In actual fact it has far more in common with European films than Hollywood films. This is especially evident in its look and feel, and the way it depicts relationships.
“Spring” is beautifully filmed with a look and feel that perfectly complements the story and characters. The cinematography is beautiful, especially some breath taking tracking shots and aerial shots that make Italy look more beautiful than I could ever imagine. Each and every shot from first to last in all it’s poetic beauty and bleakness is a work of art. The film-makers really do understand the medium of film and how to use it to tell a story with complex and believable characters that are engaging on an emotional level. There are some scenes and characters that are maybe not necessary and wouldn’t really be missed if they had been left out. However, that’s a minor quibble when a film is this good and every character is engaging, not just the lead characters.
It such a shame that many seem not to have heard of this gem of a film. It really does deserve to get far more attention than it has. I was actually made aware of it by Jen and Sylvia Soska, writers and directors of another of my favourite films “American Mary“, when they raved about it on Facebook back in 2015. I really cannot thank them enough for another of their great recommends.
I honestly do like a good love story, but it has to have originality and be realistic. I’m not ashamed to say moments in the film had me in tears. Combine this with horror as “Spring” does perfectly and that’s why it’s one of my all-time favourite films.
For Eric Bowman, My Grandad