Spring directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead released in year 2014, is unlike any of the horror films in all time. The film is bordering the edge of what is to be considered as a horror film. Unlike conventional horror films, it presents us with a story between a man and woman. Akin to beauty and the beast, Spring is the romanticization of a relationship between a beast and a person.
A quick recap of the movie, presents us with a young man named Evan having recently lost his mother, he attempts to start anew. To clear his mind, he goes on a vacation to Italy. There he meets his object of interest a girl named Louise who was elusive to him which made things more interesting. Their budding relationship was mired with deflections about their origins. However when he found out that Louise was a monster the relationship turns to another level.
There are two takeaways that I saw in the film that was clearly emphasized. The first being the fear of the unknown. The film tries to rationalize her form with scientific facts, which fails to come up with evidence to support her condition. The movie tries to convey her condition as a scientific condition rather the supernatural. It makes the movie feel as if it was science fiction. When Evan found out about Louise, he tries to learn to understand what she really is. He was not quite sure how to react because they have only recently met and do not know the level of commitment they are at. However, he was willing to try and give it a chance and as they travel to where she originally came from he comes to know more about her.
The second takeaway is about love or the relationship between both characters, albeit starting off with an air of doubt and skepticism it transformed into strong bond. Louise was unsure of herself and admittedly, wanted to keep every thing a secret. However, upon the revelation of her true self, she eventually relents and learns to trust in Evan, because in the first time in a long time, someone finally knows what she truly is. Together, they forged a better level of transparency between each other. We see that loving someone unconditionally may not be as easy as it seems, especially when that someone is different from everyone else. Evan, despite being unsure of his commitment, was willing to try. The same can be said for Louise, while not really admitting to it, we was willing to give up what she had to live with Evan. In their trip, she introduces Evan to her family and that was a validation of her growing trust.
Personally, I loved the film. However, I would consider the film romantic rather than being a horror film, because to me, it did not strike fear in any moments during the movie. But Andrew Tudor defines horror as “what we collectively believe it to be, and , and sets out to study historical shifts in the patterns of those films understood to belong to the genre, and in the social concerns that have been expressed by and about them.” In a way, the evolution of horror as genre transverses lines set by its predecessors.
Spring presents us with the underlying message that struck me, despite differences love will prevail and that it knows no boundaries. To prove the point, it is essentially about a young boy that fell in love with a 2000 year old creature. It seems bizarre because he was only there to clear his mind, but unexpectedly falls in love with Louise.
Similar to Beauty and the Beast, the monster in the form of Beast was cursed and was not a monster by choice. In the movie, Louise was merely a monster because it was passed on to her by her mother. Her condition was not by choice, but by genetics and no matter how she tries there is no escaping it. I like how to film makes the viewer feel sympathy to the character. By portraying Louise as a vulnerable, the monster was not as scary as it is supposed to be rather she was a victim of herself. She was in other words, human. Simply by making the monster into human, the film proposes that what we can’t understand does not necessarily mean it is supernatural. In an effort to finish the romance, the film seals it with “true love’s kiss” when Louise laid down on Evan’s lap.