Movie Review: ‘Spring’
Starring: Lou Taylor and Pucci and Nadia Hilker
Plot: A troubled American flees to Italy to clear his head and sparks a romance with a woman with a dark secret.
There was a time very recently within the last few years that I would have said that finding a good horror movie was like finding Bigfoot. You get a blurry picture of that movie, and you could make a million bucks. What actually happened was it simply became an endangered species, courted off to special places to be kept safe from those who might actually try to take advantage of them. Those are made by artists who care, who are inventive, who want horror to be more than “Boo!” These movies are out there, waiting to be seen, waiting for you. You need to know that the mainstream by-the-numbers, nothing but shock value horror movies are not the only option.
Spring happens to be one of those special horror movies. It stars Lou Taylor Pucci as Evan, a one-time promising adult who had to drop out of college and get a job at a local bar after his father died and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. When she finally passes away, Evan is left with no other purpose. His anger and sadness overwhelms him causing him to lash out violently. He loses his job. He has a neighborhood thug stalking him, and now the cops want to question him. So he takes off for Italy on a trip his father always wanted him to take.
So far, this is nothing like a horror movie, and the scary stuff is still a ways off. In fact, it looks a little more like a 20-something dialog-heavy whirlwind romance. The similarities to Before Sunrise and its sequels are hard to ignore (and have already been well documented). The American dreamer meets a beautiful foreign mystery woman (Hilker) and starts up one of those one in a million kinds of relationship. The instant chemistry between Pucci and Hilker is what drives those segments of the movie, and their greatest strength is that it belongs to a different genre all together. By intertwining two different kinds of genres, filmmakers Benson and Moorehead are able to iron out the shortcomings of either.
The horror doesn’t really begin until after Pucci and Hilker have sex, and Hilker reveals a secret to the audience that we have yet to see, a twist that is so tactfully left unspoiled that I have no other choice but not spoil it now. Just know that in a world where vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, and countless other monster archetypes are revamped over and over again to fit the needs of genres that aren’t horror, Benson and Moorehead successfully introduce a new kind of monster, something primordial and interesting, backed up by some impressive, low-budget effects.