April 4, 2015

VOD Review: Spring (2015)

(aka Before Equinox.)
Release Date: March 20th, 2015.
Country: USA.
Rating: NR.
Written by: Justin Benson.
Directed by: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead.
Starring: Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker.

Back in 1995, Richard Linklater gave the world a sweet little movie called Before Sunrise, in which a young Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy walked around Vienna, talked, and fell in love. Its sequels, Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013), continued their talky romance. They were all pretty good films, if you like that sort of quiet, character-driven drama.

I mention those movies because to me, Spring is essentially the Before Sunrise of the Horror genre. And yes, in its own way, it's every bit as good as the aforementioned Linklater films.

*We're going to keep the plot details of this one fairly vague, so as not to ruin its twists and developments for you.

After the death of his mother, and pissing off some local Gang Bangers, Evan hops on a plane to Italy, determined to become an olive farmer like he's always dreamed about. There he meets Louise, a sexy, sassy Italiano donna who gives him a boner in his sad little heart.

What Evan doesn't know, is that Louise is a woman with secrets; dark, creepy, slimy, Cthulhu-like secrets. As a sweet romance blooms the two, those very secrets come to light and threaten to not only derail their new found love, but they might just see Evan end up as dinner.

Can Evan and Louise ever hope to be together? Will Louise eat Evan, because, evolution? Will Angelo rat out Evan out to immigration? Far be it from us to spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that happy endings are for suckers. Like us.

There's really not much about Spring that we didn't like. This is a quiet, almost ethereal movie that plays more like a dark romantic fantasy than it does a true Horror film, and therein lies its beauty. This is the story of two people (one man, one monster) that engage in a love affair that seems doomed from the get-go, and even though the consequences of their love may very well be dire, they go for it anyway. They're both lonely and distraught, each in their own way, and even though they're completely different beasts (no pun intended), they end up finding some much needed common ground in their mutual despair.

It's nice to experience a "Horror" movie that is more about its characters and their sad condition than it is blood & gore set pieces for a change. Spring focuses more on the humanity of its characters than it does the potentially dangerous situations that they find themselves in, and it does so with a calculated patience that makes it all truly compelling. By the time the movie arrives at its climax, it really doesn't even feel like much of a Horror movie anymore. It's an odd movie in that way, but it's that very oddity that makes it work so well. It really is a beautiful movie, both visually and aesthetically.

Spring is absolutely Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker's show, and their performances are ultimately what make it such a good watch. Seeing as how their back and forth banter carries so much of this movie, we're grateful that the chemistry between them felt so genuine. Pucci we know and love from movies like Evil Dead, Carriers, and Horsemen, and he's as good in Spring as he was in any of them. He's not only talented, but there's something about him that is just likable, and he's taken himself to another level with his role in this one. Nadia Hilker, on the other hand, is a bit of a revelation to us, but we found her to be just as likable in this one as was her co-star.

Our biggest complaint about Spring was that the dialogue felt stilted at times, especially when it came to Lou Taylor Pucci's character. The way he behaved and spoke didn't feel natural to us, and we wished that the writing had been a little bit tighter in that respect.

True love knows no bounds. Also, old Italian farmers are pretty chill.

If you go into Spring expecting a typical monster movie, you're most likely going to be disappointed. It is a monster movie, to a point, but that monster is love, which in all honestly is every bit as terrifying as any bloodthirsty creature could ever be. I really hope that this review hasn't painted Spring as some sort of sappy, overly-sentimental love story, because it's not that at all. It's smart, disturbing, and at times, even emotional, but it never panders to its own sentimentality, and for that reason, we can't help but love it. Rent it, and enjoy.


Spring is available now on VOD.


Nadia Hilker and Augie Duke give us Spring fever.


  1. Great movie. Would of never known about or even thought of watching this if it wasn't for this site. Thanks!

  2. It's taken me ages to get around to watching this but I'm really glad I did. It's got a haunting quality I can tell is going to stay with me. And personally I loved the ending.

    It occurs to me that there's a trap for us horror fans who like more than gore and jump scares. I don't know any other horror watchers (which is why I hang around this site - by far the best for the genre on the net) and I'm sure that if I recommended this to my non-horror friends (like my wife) they'd be so freaked out by the H-factor that they'd miss the heart and fail to "get" it.

    Their loss, I guess.