“I have a medical condition that comes and goes, and it’s a very long story.”
Justin Benson wrote the screenplay and co-directed the film with Aaron Scott Moorhead after having previously worked together in Resolution which was also a sort of hybrid horror movie. Spring mixes genres in a pretty refreshing way beginning as sort of a slow drama, then turning into a romantic film, and eventually turning into a twisted sci-fi horror piece. Lou Taylor Pucci plays Evan, a young American man who has recently lost both his parents. His friends convince him to travel to Italy and start a new life there. Once he arrives he meets the beautiful and mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker). The two begin a very interesting and unique relationship, but she is harboring some secrets of her own. Evan finds a place to stay, working as a farmer with an old man named Angelo (Francesco Carnelutti) who reminds him that “Italian woman are the best.” Other than Louise, he is the only person he has befriended. Evan falls in love with Louise, but she is hesitant to share her condition with him.
I went into this film without having seen the trailer and knowing very little about the plot, and I think it’s the best way to experience Spring because it takes some interesting and unusual turns. There are some light similarities with other films, but naming them might be giving too much away. I wouldn’t recommend watching the trailer either because I think it gives away too much now that I’ve seen it. Pucci and Hilker share an incredible chemistry and the romance is believable. Their relationship is at the core of the story, without it the rest of the twists wouldn’t have worked. There are several scenes of the two simply walking together through the beautiful town which could remind some of Linklater’s work in the Before series. But it quickly departs from the familiarity of the indie romance and explores new territory.
Spring does have a very slow start and it took me a while to get into. Once the relationship between Evan and Louise blossoms, it becomes engaging and interesting, but the directors did take their time to establish the story. They were more concerned first with establishing the right mood, and Spring does play out as an atmospheric piece more than anything. The mediterranean landscape is gorgeous and the cinematography is purposely foggy. What Benson and Moorhead do best is blend the different genres together giving the film its unique quality. I would say it is more stylish than concerned with the narrative, but it does have an interesting story with several subtexts that I couldn’t go into without spoiling the film. Just check the film out for yourself, it’s a unique experience.