Justin Benson

Horror and romance blossom in the haunting ‘Spring’

The less you know about Spring before its arrival, the more enthralling its subtle charms. This is a delicate little gem that reveals its mysteries grudgingly; a seamless blend of moods and genres that never stops surprising you. Darkly comic and unflinchingly romantic, Spring steeps its horror mythology in realism to create a genuine sense of uneasiness. Director Justin Benson’s exquisite story of painful transformation is one of 2015’s best films.

‘V/H/S: Viral’: Same problems, but also similar thrills

When the first film in this series was released 2 years ago, it came as a much-needed breath of fresh air for the found-footage subgenre, a subgenre that had tired itself out by the time even Paranormal Activity 2 came out. What stood out the most about it was that none of the filmmakers involved were trying to fool you into thinking that any of it was real, while studio made found footage films still marketed themselves as “this is real footage”. Rather than try to pull a trick you wouldn’t fall for, they just had fun with the format and sought to break down the limitations of it. V/H/S 2 doubled down on the scope and ambition and was an exhilarating anthology to witness. Does the whole endeavor begin to feel tired at this point? Yeah, but then again most film series tend to feel that way their third time at bat.

LFF 2014: ‘Spring’ is a horror rom-com with horns on

Following their mildly acclaimed 2012 effort Resolution, directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead further establish themselves as some of the most promising gruesome genre mechanics to be observed – if from a safe and secure distance. In their new film Spring they turn their gaze to a beloved titan of the macabre, channeling an eternal struggle of the ancient ones that H.P Lovecraft would enjoy, with creatures most cryptic dwelling among an unsuspecting population.

TIFF 14: ‘Spring’ is a flawed but vibrant romantic-horror film

Spring can most easily be described as a romantic-horror: a monster movie with a heart set mostly in a small tourist destination in Italy. After the death of his mother, Evan(Lou Taylor Pucci) loses his job and gets himself in a fight that causes him to be pursued by police. With nothing left in California, he hops on the first available flight, which brings him to Italy. This adventure leads him to meeting the beautiful and mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker).

Shrew's Nest 2014

TIFF 14: ‘Shrew’s Nest’ and ‘Spring’ tackle the complex nature of femininity and love, in their own twisted ways

Over the years, TIFF’s Midnight Madness programme has lost some of its grit. Once upon a time, a film as bodacious as Shrew’s Nest would have graced its lineup. Now, the Vanguard programme seems to have stepped up to take its place. Where Madness highlights trendier, more easily digestible content, Vanguard takes on the more obscure. Sexy, gritty, dirty, and horrific, Vanguard’s content is far more outlandish than its older, now slightly more restrained, cousin. Odd when you consider both programmes are curated by the jovial horror fanatic Colin Geddes.

Scroll to Top