Love is a monster...
As polarizing as it has become, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s “Resolution” blew my fucking mind in 2012. The film was original, it looked great, and had fantastic dialogue. It’s no surprise then that I have been closely following their follow up film “Spring” for nearly a year now. After a successful run in festival, I finally had time to sit down and enjoy it in my own home courtesy of my favorite VOD provider….but should you?
Spring kicks you right in the feels as soon as it starts. The opening scene serves as an extraneous reminder that screams “oh yeah…these guys are good“. We follow Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) throughout what has to be the worst week of his life. After a series of events causes him to take an impromptu trip to Italy, he meets a local girl that seems to give him hope that things aren’t as bad as they seem. All of this may seem very dramatic, and that’s because it is. Make no mistake about it, if you are trying to get your significant other to sit down and watch one of your crazy movies with you – this is the one. It is a love story in every sense of the phrase, and a damn good one at that.
I watch a lot of foreign film, and while Benson and Moorhead are US natives, Spring has a very foreign (dare I say..classy) film style. I’d like to think the Italian backdrop plays little part in that vibe. What I’m getting at is…if you didn’t care for Resolution, know that Spring is completely different in both feel and concept. Go in with a fresh mind, and I doubt you’ll be disappointed. The performances are top notch. Not only from Pucci and Hilker, but practically everyone else with even a fraction of screen time.
I mentioned dialogue earlier, and with good reason. The dialogue of Spring is simply in a league of its own. Especially if comparing it to other films in the horror genre. Conversation feels natural, and relatable. The words carry weight, and almost every single interaction genuinely means something..so pay attention. If there is one single area of improvement, it would certainly be the run time. While the film is beautifully shot and excellently written, it does go a bit long. Then again, it’s a great story…so I suppose there are worse things.
Spring is unlike anything I have seen this year. It doesn’t necessarily fit into our horror bubble completely, but that’s not these guys’ style. They are shooting for something more, and they have achieved it. Twice now. I watched it alongside my wife (something I rarely get to do) and together we laughed, gasped, and smiled nearly in unison. Originality is far too rare these days, and while Spring gets pretty far “out there” – I applaud the filmmakers for creating something as unique and disgustingly heartfelt as this.
If you are looking for gratuitous violence and lunacy…keep on moving. Spring is a love story from a realm grounded in both history and science fiction. There are certainly horrific themes and elements at work here, but they are by no means the focal point.