Resolution tandem, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, are back with their second feature film Spring, a slithery story that shines a light on the terrifying beauty of falling in love, even when it’s with a monster. Deeply rooted in romance, Spring tells the genre-bending tale of a young man who leaves everything behind after fleeing to Italy, where he falls in love with a mysterious woman with an unimaginable secret. Walking the line of horror, Spring is a story that is both heart-warming and heart-stopping.
A story like this can only go as far as its characters take it, making the chemistry between Pucci and Hilker that much more crucial to the film. Their relationship is so genuine and honest, unfolding in a way that feels real; they’re the kind of characters that you immediately fall for. And that’s what makes Benson and Moorhead’s films so powerful—they put real people in unreal situations, creating characters that actually mean something to the audience. So once we’ve latched onto Evan and Louise, Benson and Moorhead go to work, revealing the monstrous truth about their relationship.
It’s an in-your-face kind of reveal, too, but not because we’re finding out what Louise really is for the first time (we already know), but because it’s so sudden and shocking. Shocking because the impossibly gorgeous girl we first see in a stunning red dress is suddenly a hideous monstrosity. The thing is, she’s not just a monster, she’s a monster surrounded by beauty with a rich mythology. Again, Benson and Moorhead don’t just create a monster and leave it at that, they give us something with real emotions, something that’s just as easy to fall in love with as it is to be terrified of. Love is ever-transforming, it’s an emotion that is wonderful and scary all in the same breathe and Spring reflects that sentiment with Evan and Louise’s relationship.
And that’s what I really liked about the film. It plays with the idea of falling in love in a way we rarely ever see. It takes a simple story and wraps it in this complex bow of monsters and evolution. The mythology behind who (and what) Louise really is, it’s absolutely fascinating. And while Benson and Moorhead only scratch the surface, leaving so much left to learn about her, it gives the film a boundless quality that peeks into this fantastical world they’ve created. It’s truly something special.
The heart of Spring beats to the pulse of a romance sparked between two strangers who only just met. It’s not unfamiliar territory, but Benson and Moorhead turn the traditional love story into a different kind of beast, one that could quite literally bite your head off. Spring isn’t just a romance film and it certainly doesn’t purely belong to the horror genre either—it walks its own path, telling a story that finds light in the darkness and darkness in the light. Benson and Moorhead’s monsterpiece is a wonderful film that blurs the genre lines by allowing its narrative to lead the way with passion, heart and breathtaking beauty.
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