The genres of horror and romance go hand in hand naturally in real life (see: Lorena Bobbitt). On screen, however, this blend has never really been attempted in a serious or successful way. Enter filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who collaborated previously on horror movie V/H/S: Viral, to achieve the impossible mélange with their feature, Spring.

Promotional poster

Promotional poster

 Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci, formerly Lou Pucci--of Thumbsucker fame), an L.A. denizen who has just lost his mother to cancer--which means both of his parents are now deceased--finds himself in an emotional tailspin that is further compounded by losing his job as a bartender. His best friend, Tommy (Jeremy Gardner), urges him to get away so that he can change his environment and possibly forget about some of his pain. Taking this advice to heart after he can't even get pity sex from a friend, Evan books a flight to Italy as an homage to his father, who was planning to go there with him after Evan graduated from college, but then ended up having a heart attack.

Finding strange romance in Italy

Finding strange romance in Italy

Upon arriving in Rome, Evan encounters two fellow travelers from England, who guide him further south toward Naples. While there, he has an encounter with a beautiful and very mysterious girl named Louise (Nadia Hilker). When the two have another run-in at a bar, Evan asks her to go out on a date. Louise, preferring spontaneity over plans tells him that she has to go with him now or not at all. Evan declines, but seems to have the sense that he'll see her again. Left to his own devices by the Brits, who move on to Amsterdam without him, Evan decides to reply to a flier he sees advertising free room and board in exchange for work. This leads him to an isolated farm run by an old man who agrees to teach him the ropes.

The horror element

The horror element

With his job situation secure, Evan now finds the time to focus more fully on alluring Louise with his charms. This leads him to follow her into a museum, where she points out a painting of a woman with two different colored eyes to him. The two begin to start seeing each other more regularly, though Evan is blissfully unaware of her bizarre and inexplicable physical transformations that happen without warning, and which she quells with injections.

As the truth is wont to do, it eventually comes out. Evan sees Louise in a violent and embryonic version of herself after going to her apartment to beg her to reconsider breaking up with him. But seeing this makes him nearly change his mind about making such a request. The fiendish Romeo and Juliet-like love that comes with Evan's eventual acceptance of Louise's flaw (she must shift out of her body every twenty years, this year being the twentieth in her current husk) is further intensified by the advent of the spring equinox, which will force her to depart from him physically.

Electric connections

Electric connections

In coalescing aspects of horror with all-consuming passion and love, Benson and Moorhead create an impactful and arresting film that isn't likely to be forgotten anytime soon--particularly if you yourself have had to overcome astounding obstacles in a relationship.