Creature Features in Review: Spring (2014)
What is the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime love worth? Is it worth the embrace of a monster, or death? SPRING is not just any monster movie, no typical vampires or werewolves here. What remains is the inescapable drive for connection that goes beyond emotional need.
SPRING, directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Morehead and written by Benson, is the story of Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci,) a young man who has just lost his mother and his job. His life has been on hold, taking care of his dying mother and his father who has also passed. He is an adult orphan, alone in the world with no direction. He makes an impulsive decision to head to Italy, a trip he and his father always talked about. He arrives with no clear idea of what he is looking to find.
Evan meets the mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker,) and they have a one night stand. Evan can’t walk away and takes a job on a fruit tree farm, hoping to learn more about Louise. Louise appears to have some dark secrets and tries, unsuccessfully, to put him off. She has a bizarre appetite for cats and rabbits, and Evan finds needles in her bathroom, although she insists they are for a medical condition. He also finds several historical paintings resembling Louise, including her one green and one blue eye. He is tempted to walk away but he sees his boss Angelo’s (Francesco Carnelutti,) enduring love for his dead wife inspires Evan to persevere.
When Evan finds Louise changing into something with scales and a mass of tentacles, she is forced to tell him the truth. She suffers from a condition causing her to de-evolve around each Spring Equinox. The cats, rabbits and injections are stem cells, designed to halt the process. Every 20 years she has to have sex and get pregnant. Her body reabsorbs the embryo and re-evolves into a new person. Falling in love causes the process to halt and the pregnancy to continue, rendering her a mortal.
Louise and Evan spend their last day traveling to Louise’s origins in Pompeii. As Evan waits to find out if Louise will change into a monster that consumes him, or chooses to give up immortality for him, the distant Vesuvius begins to rumble and spew smoke. The end is coming, either way, but Evan is no longer lost. A film shot in Italy is already guaranteed to be beautiful and SPRING does not disappoint. The supporting cast, including Carnelutti and Jeremy Gardner as Evan’s friend Tommy add dimension to this sweet sad story. Louise isn’t so much a monster as a transformative miracle.
Kim McDonald is a contributing writer on Machine Mean, having reviewed for us during last year’s Fright Fest series, The Thing (1982). And this year’s Creature Features series. Kim lives in Charleston and loves all things horror, especially foreign horror. Kim also publishes reviews for LOUD GREEN BIRD, tackling some of horror’s greatest treasures, giving readers a deeper retrospective and often introspective on films like “The Iron Rose,” “Baskin,” “The Conjuring 2,” “The Witch,” and much more. As you can see, she is no stranger to the art of movie reviews. You can follow Kim @dixiefairy on Twitter and you can follow her blog, Fairy Musings, here.