To be quite honest, it was hard for me to make an opinion on whether or not I liked Spring as a horror movie. Unlike the movie May where it kinda felt like a rom-com at first, it evolved into a proper horror movie by the time it ended. Spring on the other-hand felt like a romance movie through and through even after they have revealed the monster.
The story begins where we see the protagonist Evan witnessing his mother die on her deathbed. From then on it continues showing just how shitty his life has become and to make himself feel better again, he randomly decides to take a trip to Italy. (How did he even pay for this trip? Isn’t he supposed to be jobless..?) Weirdly enough I actually really enjoyed the following scenes. The two British guys he me met were outrageously goofy and provided the kind of humor you would find in movies like American Pie or Eurotrip. To my disappointment however, we never get to see them come back on screen because now the movie shifts our attention towards Louise, the beautiful and mysterious love interest of our protagonist. Just like any romance movie out there, the movie is filled with cheesy scenes such as Evan writing poems to Louise, them taking boat trips together, etc. All feels well and good until we find out that Louise is actually a being that transforms into different monsters every now and then as a side effect of her immortality. Despite all of this however, Evan still considered Louise his true love and in the end she loses her immortality.
Purely as a horror movie, Spring wasn’t at all scary. Yeah there was some horror elements to it but none really that sent chills down my spine. Even if the monster of the film was great, it being able to transform between werewolves, vampires, and even cthulhu like squid monsters, it didn’t scare me because we knew that it was Louise. We got to know her so well throughout the film that we grew fond of her already by the time of the huge reveal. We knew she wasn’t this evil, terrifying monster, but rather a kind, warm hearted woman that had a genetic abnormality causing her to transform.
Purely as a romance movie, It also wasn’t that amazing. It didn’t really convince me in anyway that people could truly fall in love that immediately. Because come on….are you telling me that Louise, an immortal being that has lived for thousands of years has never fallen in love? And of all people to fall in love with, she falls in love with this depressed and lonely foreign guy she’s only met for a week? She’s probably met thousands of guys throughout the years and nothing about Evan really convinced me that he would be the one to finally swoop her of her feet. But hey, love works in mysterious ways so what do I really know?
I didn’t know how to feel about the movie because in the end, I actually really enjoyed it as a whole. I was for a bit holding back in enjoying the film because I really expected it to be terrifying to some extent like all the other horror movies we’ve watched this sem. But when I started removing my expectations and started watching it as it is, I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen. Even when we weren’t able to finish the movie in class, right after I immediately continued watching the film in the computer lab and that definitely says something about it.
Genre according to Jancovich is defined by how the audience sees it. It is the culture of the current society that dictates what horror is. The beauty of horror however is that it is such a flexible genre. There are no clear cut boundaries defining the genre and it’s up to us viewers to decide what to think of it. Take the movie Silence of the Lambs for example. It wasn’t exactly marketed as a horror-film but rather a crime-thriller-drama movie. But because it wasn’t marketed to be a horror film, it managed to make a bigger audience outside of the horror community experience the same horrific thrills you would get in a horror film. People who didn’t really like horror films potentially could end up enjoying what others would consider a horror film through and through.
I would have to commend Spring for making such a bold move and combining 3 different genres that seem so difficult to blend in with one another. (Science fiction, Romance, and Horror) Although it doesn’t feel completely like a horror film, this just makes it easier to recommend to people who stray away from the genre. I believe that I can actually recommend this movie to a purely rom-com movie watcher and he/she might end up actually really enjoying it enough as to want to start watching other horror movies.
Mark Jancovich, “Genre and the Audience: Genre Classifications and Cultural Distinctions in the Mediation of The Silence of the Lambs.” Horror, The Film Reader (Routledge, 2002)