Strange Vistas


Nadia Hilker looking at Lou Taylor Pucci in Spring

American gets in trouble. American flees to Europe, where he meets exotic Italian girl. American falls in love with Italian girl in that way that only drifting American tourists in their first trip out of the country can. Girl is not what he thinks.

Sounds cliché, I know. Spring is a smart movie doing genre slumming, a new theme grafted onto an old setup.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that it's a monster movie. It strongly suggests as much on the trailer. The trick is figuring out what kind of monster movie it is.

It's by and large carried by how honest it feels. Lou Taylor Pucci is earnest as Evan, looking like a cleaner, responsible Jesse Pinkman. He follows Nadia Hilker's Eva, a latin Minnie Driver-lookalike, with a single-mindedness that's half horny traveler and half orphaned puppy looking for a mother figure. The movie's color grading makes it feel like a trip polaroid, without having to go into shaky-cam faux-travel-footage style. The natural air to the whole thing is refreshing, considering how stale the horror genre has gotten behind its thematically incestuous closed doors.

It's not particularly tense, though, less about the tropes you would expect and more about withholding the answer from you. It drops hints here and there, trying to keep you guessing. And then shows its fangs earlier than expected, making you wonder “what now?” before it transforms into something else. The answer wasn't what I thought it was going to be, and I normally see these things coming from way over the next town. Even when I noticed all the bits they left around, I wasn't sure how they'd recombine all the parts into their creature.

I do love being surprised.

#spring #horror #romance #loutaylorpucci #nadiahilker #justinbenson #aaronmoorhead