Read the shortlisted Under Her Eye reviews then vote for your favourite.
As part of Stylist’s Under Her Eye initiative, we’re on the hunt for three new female film critics. We asked aspiring reviewers to send in a 450-word review of their favourite film – and after an overwhelming response, we’ve whittled it down to a shortlist of 20.
Spring is the spectacular second feature from directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (whose first film ‘Resolution’ in 2012 gathered critical acclaim). Our story starts with Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) who has hit rock bottom. After his mother passes away, he loses his job and his girlfriend. So naturally he does what any millennial would do, and runs away to Europe. Not long after arriving and meeting some British boys for some classic bants and lads on tour vibes, Evan meets the mysterious Louise (Nadia Hilker) who harbours a dark secret. Sold yet?
Although originally marketed as a horror, the sheer beauty of this film both separate and transcend it into a genre of its own. A captivating amalgamation of romantic drama combined with elements of the supernatural, result in a genuinely moving experience that’s guaranteed that have you feeling the love.
For those of you reading this who have just let out an audible groan at the prospect of yet another vampire romance, don’t panic. This is definitely NOT one of those films. Benson and Moorhead’s goal was to combine mythology and real life to create a narrative of a creature that actually enjoys its mysterious condition…
And mysterious is rather an understatement. After all, it’s not the typical heroine that wakes up naked in a cave having shed her skin overnight. Without giving the game away, Louise’s condition makes for a delightful change of pace from the usual supernatural shtick.
It’s not just the script that’s stunning. Set in the picture-perfect seaside village of Polignano a Mare, the old world romance and atmosphere of the Italian architecture creates a wonderful juxtaposition to the more sci-fi elements of the film and balances it perfectly. Benson and Moorhead also integrated the use of drone photography fairly early on in the game, saying the goal was that the camera should have an omniscient presence ‘It should feel very subjective, almost like a third, all-powerful character.’
Aside from the technical, the most brilliant thing about Spring is that although it’s a big part of the story, the supernatural is for once not the focus here. Instead the film chooses to ground itself in the real-life elements of a new relationship. The writing is phenomenal, and brought to life beautifully by Taylor Pucci and Hilker, whose performances are utterly captivating. The result is that despite some creepier moments, it never feels like anything other than a genuine love story. - A bold claim to make about a film that at one point involves someone failing about with octopus legs, but trust me. If you watch anything this week, make it Spring. You won’t regret it.
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