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Spring (2014) Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Scott Moorehead

Beguiling and bewitching are words I rarely use when writing or in everyday life so I invoke them now with no small amount of caution but Justin Benson & Aaron Scott Moorehead’s Spring and it’s lead actress Nadia Hilker are fully deserving of both adjectives.

An unlikely fusion of HP Lovecraft and Richard Linklater, marrying the naturalism with horror in a subtle, effective way never losing sight of the love story at its core. The tale is simple. A young twenty-something American guy called Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci), escaping his aimless, troubled life back home – including the death of his mother from – travels to the South of Italy to to heal his soul and indulge in some Old World hedonism. There, he meets the mysterious and beautiful Louise (Nadia Hilker) who is forthright, funny, disarming, spontaneous, single and most importantly for a lonely, horny backpacker such as Evan, speaks perfect English.

However, Louise is not all she seems and as the smitten Evan is drawn further into her mystery, he is forced to break out of his own emotional torpor and confront both his own past and that of his Italian (?) beloved.

Hilker and Pucci have palpable chemistry and it is their shared intimacy, set amidst the beautiful yet sinister backdrop of an Apulian coastal village that carries us along even when the dialogue becomes somewhat overly explanatory and convoluted in its final third.

Suffice to say that the unravelling of any further plot thread would make me a villain so sample this unique, evocative, achingly romantic oddity for yourself. It’s on the Netflix if you have it on your digitalthingamywotsit.