04 May 2015

SPRING (/SLASH 1/2 Mini-Festival, 2015)


USA, 2014
Directors: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead


"Spring" is probably the closest we will ever get to a Richard-Linklater-horror film (thanks to my buddy Christian for pointing out the movie's similarities to Linklater's "Before"-trilogy), a love-story with some absurd but also fascinating Lovecraftian elements, following Evan, a young American who impulsively travels to Italy to take a break from all the shit that happened back home (his mother died, he lost his job, and the police is after him...). There, in the town of Bari, he falls in love with a beautiful and intelligent, but also mysterious and quite enigmatic woman who's hiding a horrifying secret...

It's shocking that this movie was made by the same guys who created the uber-awful "Bonestorm"-segment in "V/H/S: Viral". Where "Bonestorm" was just insanely stupid, "Spring" surprises with a heartwarming lightness that you don't get to see that often in horror, and which I obviously totally didn't expect from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. "Spring" focuses on topics like self-discovery, love at first sight and dropping out of life, adding a few supernatural elements & semi-creature-feature twists that turn this average boy-meets-girl
love story into a lovely, amusing and quite original genre-hybrid that entertained me much more than I expected.

I loved the unbelievably believable chemistry between German actress Nadia Hilker (whose English is so perfect, it's baffling!) and Lou Taylor Pucci ("Evil Dead", "Carriers") whose look and performance could be described as 'Simon Pegg, born again as an American', and I just loved seeing them interacting with each other, talking all kinds of bullshit while being lovey-dovey and silly, even though her behavior is often quite awkward, and holy shit, that girl has some serious transformation-problems which affect their relationship a lot - but Evan sticks to her, because love *sigh*

The movie is clearly too long (110 minutes!!) and the ending is a bit meh, even though its basic message is sweet, and there's also lot of really ridiculous talk about biochemistry and hormones - but all in all, it's a really wonderful film, hardly ever boring, full of beautiful images of Italian landscspaes, sunrises, sunsets, fruit, insects and... erm, tentacles :) Also, worth mentioning: a hilarious appearance by Jeremy Gardner ("The Battery"), some outstanding cinematography / camera work (done by Moorhead himself) and one of the most hilarious cliché-americans I've ever seen, a drinking, weed-smoking, National-Anthem-singing douchebag who thinks Italians speak French *duh*

Can't wait for the sequel "Summer" and the prequel "Winter" ;)))

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