"SPRING" merges Linklater-style verbal romance with Lovecraftian weirdness
On the recommendation of a podcast, I just caught SPRING, a quirky, suspenseful romance with just a dash of horror.
I can't reveal too much without spoilers, but this indie, beautifully shot in Italy, is an understated gem. Don't let the "Horror" moniker fool you; although there are some grotesque moments, this is a Romantic Drama through and through. (And the "horror" parts are actually kind of sweet.)
This scene, and SPRING itself, evokes BEFORE SUNRISE. Literally.
After the death of his mother, our downtrodden 20-something hero Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) journeys to Italy seeking to find something to give his aimless life meaning again. After a series of twists and turns, he finds himself in a picturesque coastal Italian town, and falling under the charms of Louise (played by the utterly captivating Nadia Hilker). As they walk and talk and fall in love under the European twilight, Evan seems to have found his perfect mate. There's just one snag…
Basically, imagine a variation on BEFORE SUNRISE, except that Julie Delpy has a pretty important secret. (And it's probably not what you're thinking.)
I hope to see more of Ms. Hilker, who's German, in more English-language films very soon! She's in the next 2 Divergent films, so I guess there's that.
B+. Seek it out on DVD or various streaming services!
Also Read Rolling Stone's capsule review, which is in their "10 Best Horror of 2015". (Though again I admonish, "horror"? Is it, though? Welllll, a little bit, sorta…)