Film Review : Spring (2015)

IMDB Score – 6.6
Rotten Tomato Score – 89%
Metacritic Score – 69/100

Directed By – Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead
Starring – Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker, Francesco Carnelutti, Augie Duke, and Jeremy Gardner

A young man in a personal tailspin flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a woman harboring a dark, primordial secret.

I’ve bitched on this site before about how Horror movies need to start getting more creative. I’ve said that even if the acting or visuals are lacking in places, an original script can triumph over anything. This is case and point when it comes to Spring, directed by the guys who gave us the original film about addiction and the supernatural, “Resolution”. The trailer posted above doesn’t give TOO much away. It certainly is better to go into this, like every movie, knowing as little as possible. Seeing it won’t ruin much though. The film centers around a guy named Evan who goes to Italy to get away from his depressing life full of heartbreak and failure. He meets a girl named Louise and over the course of the next week, things happen.

So the film is labeled as a horror movie I mean, I opened up this review by talking about horror movies so what else would it be? This is a special kind of film though. The horror elements will satisfy people looking to get creeped out and scared, but this film has much deeper meaning and effect. The heart of Spring is the romance between these two lovers. The fact that the romantic aspect is coupled with a sci-fi/monster/horror film makes it that more special. This isn’t Jennifer’s Body, which was horrible apparently, but it also isn’t Let The Right One In. The story begins to unfold more towards the end of the film and here is where the real beauty lies. The mythology, while a bit confusing at times, still presents something I haven’t seen before in film. Telling what that is would spoil the story, but trust me, it’s interesting. The film also utilizes some straight forward romantic writing, almost as if Benson watched the Before trilogy a bunch of times before writing this script. I’m a sucker for those kind of films, so I ate this right up.

It’s not perfect though. For one, I wasn’t fond of the acting that much. Nadia Hilker was very good and this film should serve as a stepping stone to bigger things, but the acting from the rest of the cast was average at best. I just couldn’t see Evan, played by Lou Taylor Pucci, as a real person. I felt I was watching an actor. That’s never good. I don’t feel he’s a bad actor by any means. Hell, we’ve all seen a thousand worse performances from indie film actors. A story like this just needed a strong male performance to go along with Hilker and the nature of the script. The plot was also muddy at times. I got the gist of the film and the impact was felt, but it could have been a lot more polished and clean. I had to do a bit of reading afterward to get most of the story arcs.

The film is also gorgeously shot on location in Italy. I’ve always read that Italy can be a bit of a drag with all the tourists and scam artists buzzing around major cities and villages. The main town that this film takes place in however is a fucking beautiful place that I feel I could visit and never come back from. The lush landscape was captured very well by what I’m assuming was a drone camera. Lots of great shots of waves crashing onto rocks and some great color grading that gave the film a warmth about it. It was pretty.

My movie watching habits are changing. I’m finding less time to watch films and less things in the theater interest me. As long as I have films like this come in the mail however, film will still fascinate me. I love original ideas and I love when these ideas come in hybrid packages. Romantic horror films like this could end up becoming one of my favorite things to watch if their done correctly. This is definitely worth the watch and I’ll be anxiously waiting to see what Benson and Moorehead come up with next.

4/5



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Film Review : Evil Dead (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.5
Rotten Tomato Score – 62%

Directed By – Fede Alvarez
Starring – Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.

As I am making my way through the 2013 films I neglected to see in theaters, I am being reminded why I chose not to see them in the first place. I usually hate remakes. The reason I do is not because it “ruins” the original because that statement doesn’t make any damn sense. Remakes don’t cease to make the originals exist. You like the original “Total Recall” better than remake? Great! Keep watching the original. Don’t see the new one. Easy. The originals will always be there for us. No, the reason I hate remakes is simply because I’ve seen it before. I know the story. I know what is going to happen and am forced to put all my faith into the remakes ability to do something different which always seems to fall flat. Horror films are the usual culprit in this regard in where they take an original piece of work and try to either make the same exact thing over again or try to out do it. We saw it with Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and The Thing. I know what you’re saying about that last one. BUT JOHN CARPENTER REMADE THE THING AND IT WAS GREAT! John Carpenter did something completely different with his remake and it worked perfectly mostly due to the fact that the special effects were state of the art at the time and still may be the best special effects film ever made (take that James Cameron). Great remakes are few and far between but they’re going to keep happening whether we like it or not. I may not lighten up to the idea of paying for these remakes but if one comes along with a good review I might take a chance on one of them.

I should have taken a chance on Evil Dead.

Seeing this in a theater on a packed night would have been awesome. It is by far one of the most disgusting and gore filled mainstream release I think I’ve ever seen. I mean this thing was playing in theaters next to kids movies. That’s incredible. It took the shlocky B level violence in the original cult classic and turned it up to 11. The story pretty much remained the same (and only solidified how great a satire Cabin in the Woods was) but that isn’t the feature of this film. This was just good old fashioned horror fest. The effects were beyond impressive and just seemed light years ahead of anything Eli Roth has cooked up in recent times. This isn’t “torture porn”. It is well crafted blood art. I honestly don’t know why I liked it more than any other film that just tries to go for shock value instead of actually trying to tell a story. While not the most complex of narratives, the film stayed very close to the original plot line and didn’t try to go out of the box too much. Sometimes simplicity trumps creativity.

It was basically just a really fun and cringe inducing film that I can see being a great hit at parties for those who want to watch something entirely ridiculous yet entirely intense and fun. Just don’t eat before watching it. Oh and Bruce Campbell just can’t resist a chainsaw can he?

4/5