Ro­man Hol­i­day

SFX - - Rated dvd & blu-ray -

Re­lease Date: 25 May 2015 | TBC | TBC/ DVD Di­rec­tors: Justin Ben­son, Aaron Moor­head Cast: Lou Tay­lor Pucci, Na­dia Hilker, Francesco Car­ne­lutti, Jeremy Gard­ner, Nick Nev­ern The less you know about the plot of Spring, the bet­ter it’ll work for you. It’s a film of sur­prises, a slowly un­rav­el­ling mys­tery that will lose much of its power if you know what’s com­ing. So let’s just say that it’s about a newly- or­phaned twen­tysome­thing called Evan ( Lou Tay­lor Pucci) who de­cides to spend his in­her­i­tance on a trip to Italy. There, he falls in love with evo­lu­tion­ary science stu­dent Louise ( Na­dia Hilker). And then some­thing ter­ri­fy­ing hap­pens. Even that might be say­ing too much, be­cause if you didn’t know this was a hor­ror movie, you might not guess for quite a while. Care­fully con­structed to make the most of both its tal­ented cast and its sunny Mediter­ranean set­ting, Spring makes Evan’s hol­i­day look idyl­lic; the Ital­ian tourism in­dus­try should have no com­plaints. Louise and Evan’s rapid in­ti­macy is con­vinc­ing, and though Pucci isn’t ex­actly the typ­i­cal ro­man­tic lead, his big- eyed naivety helps sell the in­ten­sity of his char­ac­ter’s emo­tions. You could alm­sot be­lieve you’re watch­ing a Richard Lin­klater- style ro­mance.

There are early hints that some­thing more sin­is­ter is go­ing on, though, in­clud­ing mu­si­cal cues and rot­ting plants. Re­ally, Spring be­longs to a newish tra­di­tion of slow, introspective hor­ror that in­cludes Let The Right One In, Byzan­tium and Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s a talky two- han­der that’s pre­oc­cu­pied with ideas of love and death, and it soon be­comes clear that the Ital­ian set­ting was cho­sen for more than just the weather. The loom­ing spec­tre of Mount Ve­su­vius adds men­ace, while the art gal­leries the cou­ple traipse around gain ex­tra sig­nif­i­cance once the film shows its hand.

There’s some­times a dan­ger of Spring get­ting too ob­sessed with its own mythol­ogy and themes, but any heavy- hand­ed­ness is com­pen­sated for by the script’s dead­pan hu­mour – which also makes the more fan­tas­ti­cal mo­ments eas­ier to swallow. The end­ing could’ve done with a touch more am­bi­gu­ity, and the film goes on too long by at least 15 min­utes, but it’s still a jour­ney worth tag­ging along for.

Ex­tras: To be con­firmed at time of go­ing to press. Sarah Dobbs

The writer/ di­rec­tors worked hard on Louise’s char­ac­ter. They wanted to make their mums and girl­friends proud of her.

A talky two- han­der pre­oc­cu­pied with love and death

And then the bus hit them.

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