PLOT: Looking to get away from his life after the death of his mother, a young American takes a trip to Italy and falls in love with a beautiful local, whom has more than a few secrets.
Young Americans have sort of fetishized European countries to the point where most study abroad trips are just seen as opportunities to drink all day, smoke all kinds of drugs, and have sex with exotic-looking people. Yeah, it sounds pretty awesome. It’s like the Olympic village for people that can’t run fast. For Evan, a young American male that just lost his mother to cancer, Italy becomes the de facto escape plan. Early on, he runs into a couple of Brits that take him under their wing and drink him under the table. On one outing, he runs into a gorgeous Italian girl, and that’s when things get a little weird.
Spring strikes an incredible balance between indie romance and body horror film. I don’t want to divulge too much, but let’s just say that Louise, the Italian girl of Evan’s dreams, may be a lot more to handle than her lithe frame would have you believe. For both characters, it eventually becomes a story of what you’re willing to do for love. Are you willing to sacrifice your own well being (or immortality) to spend the rest of your life with someone you just met five days ago? Or is there a point where the drama outweighs your feelings? It’s an interesting idea wrapped around what is essentially a monster movie, and it is this balance that makes this film a nice surprise.
The gore in this film is reserved for small, mutilated animals, but most of it is shown after the fact. Not terribly gory, but this film does sort of stretch the meaning of the word “horror”, anyway. There are some gruesome looking transformation scenes, though, which bring this score up slightly.
Gore Rating: 2 out of 5
Do you have a significant other? Are you afraid of them? Do you want to be? Really, it’s not terribly scary, but the premise is more of a thinker: what would you do if you met the absolute perfect person, the one you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with, only to find out that they turn into a ravenous monster ever so often? Tough luck.
Scare Rating: 1.5 out of 5
There’s a decent amount of nudity in this movie, but not in an overly gratuitous way that you’re accustomed to see in a horror film. The main character is seen in bed with a naked girl before he leaves for Italy and there is a pre-coital scene with female lead Louise in which she’s topless. We also see her naked from far away as she struggles to keep her affliction under control. In this scene, she eats a live rabbit, so it’s not exactly sexy.
Nudity Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I was pleasantly surprised by this film. It straddles the line of what constitutes horror, which almost made me skip it, but it turned out to be an enjoyable horror-romance, if that’s even a genre. The two leads have an undeniable chemistry, the story is unique, and the Italian backdrop is absolutely gorgeous. This feels like an indie film similar to Linklater’s Before trilogy more than it feels like your standard horror film, but when it does anything slightly horrific, it does it pretty well.
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10