Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci), a young man losing his way in life kicked out of his job and just coming from his mother’s funeral, goes to Italy to find himself. He falls in love with a beautiful young lady Louise (Nadia Hilker) who hides a very dark and transformative secret.
First off, I want to get my feelings and opinions out of the way. This is by far one of the most interesting romantic comedy films I have ever watched. I felt the essence of the film was more in the romance orientation that a horror. I’d even go as far as saying that the horror aspect of the film can be overclouded by the comedy aspect. Clearly, I like this film not only because of that I’m genetically inclined to loving romance movies but also Spring succeeds in making go into a roller coaster ride of emotions.
The first part of the movie was a vague scene of his mother on the death bed, setting up expectations for me thinking that the mother’s death would be the object of horror and Evan as the haunted. My expectations was a let down, and this is always a good thing for horror movies. Being unpredictable and having a messy plot line worked well with Spring.
The second part of the movie was a carefree narcotics and alcohol motivated adventure with some blokes from UK. This part was really unnecessary for the film. They could’ve cut this part out and no one would give a damn. But, the film’s attractiveness comes from these never boring seeming unconnected scenes,
The third part of the movie is when these blokes suddenly decide on jumping out of Italy to go to some random country I forgot. And Evan stays and finds himself falling in love with Louise. This is the major chunk of the film where the romance and horror unfolds side by side. I loved the fact how their love story isn’t some cheesy teenage BS but some real romantic by the sea conversations, wine in the moonlight kind of dates. I also loved how in the middle of a sex scene, the first horror scene unfolds. Showing Louise in some unattractive vampire form, and the scene follows with a grotesque walking monster figure devouring a cat in the streets. It was a subtle what the fuck just happened moment, the horror environment wasn’t introduced forcefully or in cringy manner.
Analysis of the film
Now for the analysis of the film, I would like to say that I was one of the dudes who reported about Spring in front of class. So it would do some justice in giving a good analysis using Mark Jancovich’s, “Genre and the Audience: Genre Classifications and Cultural Distinctions in the Mediation of The Silence of the Lambs. The whole point of Jancovich was that genres are formed by a collective consciousness of consumers and at the points of conflict in discourses. Horror is basically what the collective thinks it is. What Spring does is it crosses borders of sci-fi, comedy, romance, soul-search, and horror. It does it so well that the viewers are left to decide what to make of this film. This is what Jancovich wanted to assert, that movie becomes a horror movie simply because we think it is a horror movie. Not because it contains a slasher killer, a monster, or a ghost it automatically becomes a horror movie– Silence of the Lambs shows just this; not because a feeling of horror was stimulated in the audience it automatically becomes a horror movie– thriller films like Inception shows just this.
The words by Louise when trying to explain her genetic condition to Evan puts the summary of this films analysis precisely: “Just because you don’t know it, doesn’t mean it’s supernatural”. Science and human understanding maturing through time still has some grey areas and a lack of understanding doesn’t always mean that these things are far from what is natural. Identifying these unknowns eschews the fear of the unknown and move into the acceptance of the ‘Other’.
I see this film not as a horror movie. I beg to disagree with movie reviews, and since persons have differing opinions and there can be no one collective opinion about a movie, I assert otherwise, this is in fact a romance movie not horror. I argue not using tropes and elements of horror but as Jancovich says horror is whatever we think horror is. And this is simply not horror for me. All in all, I love this movie 7.5/10. I would recommend this to show up in the syllabus’ list of ‘horror’ films for the next semester. It would be a good discourse for us viewers to argue what makes horror horror.