Sunday, October 09, 2016

30 Days of Nightmares #9: SPRING (2015)

The Story: Mourning the death of his mother, a young American seeks an emotional escape in Italy and meets the love of his life.  With a twist.

Expectations: Vampire movie.

Reaction: It’s convenient that this film perfectly illustrates the conclusion of my last review.  Reflecting on A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, I said, “A horror film without a touch of sadness isn’t much of a horror film.”  SPRING begins with an absolutely heartbreaking scene that made me immediately sympathize with the main character.  In a matter of seconds, the film hooked me and never let go. 

I don’t want to get hyperbolic, but I have to say that I loved everything about this movie.  Every.  Little. Thing.  In fact, especially the little things – like the randomly-inserted shots of nature casually going about its business while the human story unfolds.  Also the sharp writing, deft editing, sincere acting, and achingly beautiful score by Jimmy Lavelle.

Above all what makes this film work is the characters.  As played by Lou Taylor Pucci, Evan is immensely likable because he is willing to be vulnerable but still retains a sense of humor about himself.   As played by Nadia Hilker, Louise is whip smart and mysterious in ways no one could ever possibly guess.  The dialogue between these two misfits is electric.

If I were going to resort to my habit of summing up a film by making references to other films (and I am), I’d say that SPRING is BEFORE SUNRISE as a monster movie.  That will probably make people imagine something thoroughly comedic, and maybe ridiculous.  But although SPRING is full of humor, the comedy is only part of this film’s undeniable charm.  The most endearing quality is a heart-on-its-sleeve earnestness that makes it absolutely transcendent. 

Have I gushed enough?  Just watch it.

Most Nightmare-Worthy Moment: This is not a scary movie, but it does have some nightmarish Lovecraftian imagery.

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