Winter to Spring :: Death to Life

Spring is probably one of my favorite movies (not just horror films) to date. I can see why it’s a horror film, but the movie is so much more than just that. Aside from horror, it ventures into science fiction, drama, romance and even comedy. Aside from that, I really do like the world play on the title of the movie: Spring. Spring, as a season signifies a new beginning. It is the rebirth of life after death, which is winter. In the movie, the first scene involves the death of Evan’s mother. Shortly after, we see Evan getting fired from his job. At the very beginning of the film, we already see a lot “endings” to Evan’s life. Ultimately, he chooses to start fresh in some far away place; where he can “find himself again.” At the very end of the movie, we see that Louise had given up her immortality for love. This is significant because her immortality died and her mortal life finally began. In a way, she was reborn as a mortal, as one that can fully love Evan back.

The movie’s hour and a half run time was more than necessary to deliver the full effect of the film. Some would say that the scenes involving the comedic Brit duo might be omitted, but I would beg to differ. I’d say it contributes to Evan’s character development significantly, and, at the very least, it was entertaining. Perhaps the thing that attracted me the most was the likeness of the film to the “The Before” trilogy. Like the romantic trilogy, the film relied heavily on dialogue, which in my opinion takes a lot more to keep the film interesting than utilizing different scenarios, musical scores, etc.

As mentioned earlier, Spring isn’t just a horror film since it integrates film elements from other genres. Aside from that, the movie also has an underlying theme of feminism. Yes, the story revolves around a woman who turns into a monster, but this monster isn’t oppressed by society. Instead, she uses society to her advantage. She literally uses Evan to her benefit, by seducing him and getting only exactly what she needs from him: embryonic cells. Images, however graphic, also empower the female role such as a castration of a cocky American.  And lastly, while Louise gave up her immortality for love, this was a conscious, rational decision on her part. She was able to fully exercise her autonomy all throughout the movie. Of course, she constantly has to hide her transformations from society to avoid being found out, but I think that’s a small price to pay for being immortal.

I have to say, if we were to judge the movie’s quality through its ability to scare people, it would be a really bad horror movie. But, while this film fails to elicit horror, it does engage the audience in other ways, such as romance, comedy, drama, etc. A horror movie failing to scare doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad horror movie (e.g. Triangle). Furthermore, as Jankovic puts it in “Genre and the Audience,” genre cannot be decided by the audience mainly due to the fact that it “is not a coherent body with a consistent set of expectations.” Genre is dependent on the context, time and culture, which are all ever changing. Take for example, The Silence of the Lambs, in which the movie Spring draws comparison from. Back in the day, critics would all agree that The Silence of the Lambs is a good horror movie. Nowadays, it is considered to be a psychological thriller/drama. I even tried inputting psychological thriller in Google and The Silence of the Lambs is one of the top suggestions that popped up. Jankovic also introduces the concept of “taste formation,” which is basically the influence of reviews and feature articles on what an audience should think about. This doesn’t help our case as it only adds to the ambiguity of genre, especially that of horror.

I think this brings us back to the very first problem we encountered with the movie Triangle wherein its genre was put into question. No doubt, it was a good movie. But the question is: is it a good horror movie? The answer, ultimately, is yes. Genre, as stated above, is quite tricky to define due to the ever changing times, culture and context it is subject to. And I believe, the ambiguousness of Spring benefits the horror genre. It offers more diversity and, perhaps even growth to the horror genre. I mean if the genre was going to change over time anyway, why can’t it change or expand in this direction. I would definitely recommend the film to all the people in the whole wide world (not just my peers).

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