DVD Review – Spring (2014)

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Directorial duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead hit the ground running with their mercurial independent horror thriller Resolution.Costing just $20,000 to make it was a low key fusion of character driven horror and paranoia laced Sci-Fi.

Follow up project Spring shares much common ground with Resolution.It too blends different genres together,this time Linklater tinged romantic drama with Lovecraftian terrors.Spring like it’s predecessor also trusts in it’s audiences intelligence and isn’t afraid to let the narrative breathe and develop in a naturalistic fashion.

Lou Taylor Pucci(Evil Dead) plays Evan an emotionally vulnerable young man who relocates to Italy after events in his US homeland leave him battered and disillusioned.Following a brief period of shenanigans with some cliched yet admittedly amusing Brits abroad he encounters the enigmatic Louise played by Bavarian actress Nadia Hilker and becomes instantly besotted.She however harbors an ancient and potentially lethal secret that will test Evan’s new found affections to the limit.

The decision to focus on our protagonist’s romantic progression leads to many quiet moments of dialogue heavy soul searching, and as such the two main actors ability to be likable and realistic is of paramount importance. Fortunately both leads hit the mark with well judged performances exhibiting a fine line in control and restraint that perfectly compliments the films overall feel.Many viewers will take this delicate exercise in trust building as their core enjoyment of the movie.

The setting is also a very important ingredient to hone if the desired sense of languid romanticism is to be realised.Moorhead & Benson understand this and treat the Mediterranean local as a character in its own right and not just a backdrop, attaining some gorgeously scenic results through considered shot composition and inspired location choices.

It is entirely intentional that the horror element takes a back seat in Spring and this enables it to sneak up on the viewer with amplified intensity and impact.When the nastiness does arrive it is jolting and disturbingly well depicted by way of relatively non intrusive CGI and superb prosthetic work from the brilliant Richard Redlefsen(Godzilla).

Redlefsen’s latest gig is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a fact that only reinforces the level of commitment the film makers projected into their vision,successfully humanising the monster convincingly enough to fit the encompassing tonal blue print perfectly.

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are undeniably one of the more talented pairings currently operational in the horror world.Authentic,genuine,and blessed with an abundance of raw talent that translates with indolent fluidity into an organic and honest style of film making.

Much of the joys of Spring emanate from the sudden twists in tone and direction so try to go into this highly recommended b-movie master class as blind as possible.

Bradley Hadcroft

Genre: Horror,Romance,Fantasy Distributor:Metrodome DVD Release Date:25th May 2015(U.K.) Rating :15 Directors :Moorhead & Benson  Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Vanessa Bednar Buy: Spring here.