ⓘ Spring (2014 film)

                                     

ⓘ Spring (2014 film)

Spring is a 2014 American romantic body horror film directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead and starring Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker. The film follows Evan, a young man who travels to Italy and elopes with a woman named Louise who, unbeknownst to Evan, harbors a dangerous secret.

Spring premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 5, 2014, before receiving a limited theatrical release through Drafthouse Films on March 20, 2015. The film received positive reviews from critics and grossed $49.970 worldwide.

                                     

1. Plot

Evan, a young American man, loses his mother to cancer. The next day, following his mothers funeral, he gets into a physical altercation with another man while drinking at the restaurant he works at, resulting in the loss of his job. His friend advises him to travel to get his mind clear. Evan travels to Italy. He meets a flirtatious girl named Louise, whom he is initially suspicious of, but becomes more interested in. To pursue his relationship with Louise he takes a job at a local farm and starts living in a small town in southern Italy.

Louise, who initially rejected Evan, finally has sex with him without using a condom. The next morning she wakes up before he does and leaves. When Evan is wandering the town later, he catches sight of Louise and talks to her again. They later explore the town together. After a few dates, Louise asks Evan about his family story. Although he is reluctant to reveal details, he relents and then asks Louise to tell him something about her. Louise takes out the contact lens from her right eye to show Evan that she has heterochromia, and that her eyes have different colors. Evan sees the same condition reflected in the women on many of the paintings in the museum and also on the cover of a book. One night, Louise is having dinner with Evan when her skin condition starts getting worse. She runs off the street and is followed by a tourist who mistakes her for a prostitute. Louise unwillingly kills him after she mutates into a reptilian creature.

Evan, who has been working illegally on the farm, has to leave when immigration police make a visit there. As he has nowhere to go, he goes to Louises house. The door is chain-locked, through which he sees blood on the floor and hears a strange voice. He breaks the chain to open the door and finds an octopus-like creature on the floor wearing Louises dress, trying to reach a syringe. He quickly picks the syringe up and injects it into the creatures neck.

Louise reveals to Evan that shes a 2.000-year-old mutant. All the pictures of women with dual eye color, including the one on the cover of the book, are of her. Every 20 years in spring she gets herself pregnant, and then her body uses cells in the embryo she carries to recreate her while she changes into different creatures during the process. Evan is shocked and leaves. Louise follows him and keeps telling him more about the condition. She reveals that she did not use a condom during intercourse with Evan in order to purposely get pregnant. She also reveals that if she falls in love with someone, her body will produce oxytocin, a hormone which will keep embryo cells from consumption, resulting in the loss of her immortality. Evan asks if she is in love with him, to which she replies she is not and also that she would not give up her immortality for anyone.

Evan then asks her to spend her last 24 hours with him before she re-evolves. They spend all night talking to each other. In the early morning Louise takes Evan to the ruins of Pompeii, where she was born, and tells him her family history. The time comes and Evan makes one last attempt begging her not to change, to which Louise replies that she does not control it, her body does, and it has started to change, meaning she may attack Evan. Louise lies down with her head on Evans lap as he refuses to go and tells her about the experience of being mortal and all the positive aspects to it while she changes. The sun rises before a calm and resigned Evan looks down at Louise when a grotesque sound is heard. However, he finds Louise still in her current human form, indicating she fell in love with Evan and became mortal.

                                     

2. Cast

  • Shane Brady as Brad
  • Lou Taylor Pucci as Evan Russell
  • Holly Hawkins as Nicole Russell - Evans Mom
  • Nadia Hilker as Louise
  • Augie Duke as Jackie
  • Vinny Curran as Mike
  • Jonathan Silvestri as Sam
  • Jeremy Gardner as Tommy
  • Nick Nevern as Thomas
  • Francesco Carnelutti as Angelo
  • Vanessa Bednar as Gail
  • Chris Palko as Bancroft Dawson
                                     

3. Release

Spring premiered on September 5, 2014 as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film received a limited theatrical release on March 20, 2015 through Drafthouse Films and a video on demand release a day later through FilmBuff.

                                     

3.1. Release Critical reception

The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports a rating of 85% based on 53 reviews, with a weighted average score of 7.18/10; the sites critics consensus states: "Rich in atmosphere and intelligence, Spring is a singular horror film with a sneaky, lingering impact." On Metacritic, the film has a normalized score of 70% from 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Jon Dickinson of SCREAM: The Horror Magazine gave Spring a 5 star rating, stating that it "transcends all genres to deliver a story that feels entirely unique…a monster you won’t want to miss."

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has highly praised the film, stating that is one of the best horror films of this decade." He added that it is one of the only Lovecraftian films "that has blown me away."

                                     

3.2. Release Accolades

Austin Fantastic Fest
  • Next Wave Award for Lou Taylor Pucci as Best Actor
Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • Directors to Watch for Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead