Spring (2014)

Written/Directed by: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker

New parents indulge in a common day-dream.

It sounds something like: “I hope he has my sense of humour, but your work ethic.”

Or: “I hope she gets your teeth, and my height.”

They fantasize that the innumerable equation of genetics will somehow tilt in their favour and only their most positive attributes will pass to their children.

Filmmakers are sometimes guilty of the same delusion: “It’ll have the edge of a horror, with the heart of a romance!”

The problem is that genre-mashing, much like genetics, is an inexact science. For every Zombieland there are ten flops whose mismatched DNA recombined for whatever reason into something entirely unwatchable. Thankfully though, Spring is that rare anomaly that’s coded just right.

The story revolves around Evan, an American traveller who meets the mysterious Louise while visiting an ancient village on the Italian coast. As there relationship deepens, Evan is up-ended by Louise’s terrible secret and the majority of the film concerns itself with the couple’s emotional fallout.

A TIFF darling from last year, Spring is the second directorial outing from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution) and its success is tied to how gracefully one aspect of the film (foreign romance) bleeds into the other (creature horror). Some mash-ups are little more than two entirely separate films slammed together like intersecting tidal waves (From Dusk Till Dawn) but Benson’s script is more subtle. The slow but constant drip of horror notes into a love story, like blood droplets into table cream, results in a film that occupies that Lovecraftian sweet-spot of creepy and beautiful.

Availability: ITunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, and in select theatres this April.

By Justin Rawana

Each week, Step On magazine makes a recommendation  (or two) for your next movie night selected by our film fanatics from various genres. 

Read more recent Movie Night recommendations here, here, here, herehere, here and here.