If best-selling authors the-late Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) and Nicolas Sparks (The Notebook) would have ever written material as a team, the result might have been the new independent sci-fi/horror/romance film known as Spring (released on Blu-ray by Anchor Bay Canada and Raven Banner Entertainment on June 2, 2015). Sprung from the minds of writer/directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead (Resolution); Spring stars Lou Taylor Pucci (Sugerland) as a young American named Evan who flees to Italy when his life begins to spiral and falls in love with an enchanting woman named Louise (Nadia Hilker).
But as their relationship grows, Louise does her best to keep Evan at arm’s length and for good reason. Unbeknownst to Evan, Louise is harboring a dark and dangerous secret that could potentially threaten his life the closer he gets to her. As Evan works his way past her walls and uncovers the truth he must weigh the risks of staying with Nadia or getting past the love in his heart for her and move on with his life.
Spring is a unique film in that it combines two unlikely genres into one movie and it doesn’t rely on the thrills or the fantastical of the sci-fi/horror elements, but rather the characters and the relationship that grows between them. Spring contains scenes of extensive dialogue and development between Evan and Nadia, plus it’s set against the perfect back-drop of Italy to tell its tale. When Nadia’s secret does comes to light, some excellent visual effects work (both practical and digital) also takes place.
Although Nadia’s motivations and reasoning never quite comes together cohesively for a viewer, Spring is a bold and risk-taking attempt at doing something on screen never really seen before. The film is technically executed extremely well (including the use of camera drones for certain shots) and is rounded out by a very capable supporting cast, including The Battery’s Jeremy Gardner as Evan’s best friend.
On Blu-ray, Spring is presented in a high-definition widescreen presentation with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The picture image is a beautiful one, lush on color but not overly detailed due to an angelic wash the film’s look is given. The Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 audio track provides a very-well balanced and clear experience for a viewer. There isn’t a lot of sound play in the film from the horrific moments but there are a few which are bound to surprise. The disc is also nicely loaded with bonus material with Benson and Moorehead at the forefront with an enlightening audio commentary and an extensive behind-the-scenes documentary full of unique footage and interviews. The edition also provides outtakes, SFX studies, a trailer and deleted scene, plus a digital download copy of the movie.
Spring may not quench a horror fan’s thirst, but its unique blend of genres makes the film a unique experience not found so easily in film history. As an independent effort, it really stands out and showcases the gifted abilities of both Benson and Moorehead as writers and directors. The cast is very strong, especially the two lead characters who provide palpable chemistry for a love story like no other and a supporting cast that feels honest and very real as the movie unfolds. The Blu-ray is technically presented beautifully and the movie is backed up by a solid amount of bonus material. For those interested in acquiring the film on video, the edition does more than enough to give you your value for it.