It can be difficult finding horror films of quality, so allow me to welcome you to your salvation from frustration. “Zena’s Period Blood” is here to guide you to the horror films that will make you say, “This is a good horror. Point blank. PERIOD.”
“Zena’s Period Blood” focuses on under-appreciated and hidden horror films.
“Sunrises and sunsets. Some things are just beautiful no matter what. And a constant reminder that you only get so many, so you gotta f*ckin’ enjoy them.”
This sounds like dialogue from a pretty cool romance, right? Well, it is. But imagine that this is also dialogue from a sci-fi horror. Now think if these three genres can ever accomplish the near impossible feat of being combined effortlessly, where one isn’t overpowered by the other. The breathtaking film that accomplishes this is Spring, directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead.
Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) is a young American man who loses his mother to cancer. Withdrawing from the world he knows, he reacts aggressively to threatening encounters, which results in him losing his job. His friend encourages him to get away to clear his mind. Where? On a whim, he decides Italy, where not long after arriving he meets a gorgeous girl named Louise (Nadia Hilker). After moments of mindless conversation, he smiles and says, “I’d still like to grab coffee or something, sometime. Because I think you’re the most attractive person I’ve ever seen. But that doesn’t outweigh that you might be a mental patient and I gotta make sure that you’re the kind of crazy I can deal with.” Of course, she is the kind of crazy he shouldn’t deal with.
This film balanced simple and dynamic shots in a way that seized your attention. In one memorable shot, Louise is curled into a ball at the bottom of a blood-drenched shower. The bathroom is small, but you take in the loneliness of a woman trying to remain strong, but dealing with something much greater than other women have ever had to endure before. And she’s enduring it alone. Most people believe that being alone is hard enough, but being unable to speak to anyone about something so major can make life unbearable. Stunning shots weighted with this level of emotional exposition came from cinematographer Aaron Moorehead, who also served as a co-director. Yes, he had Italy as his backdrop. And yes, its cobblestone roads, stucco buildings, and natural foliage inspire love. However, Moorehead’s unique way of capturing this undoubtedly enhanced Evan and Louise’s passion. It was as if the camera was the omniscient creator of this world, revealing its creation little by little as the underlying story of these two lovers unfolded.
“I understand about half of myself,” said Louise.
“Then you’re half magic,” offered Evan.
“I’m half undiscovered science,” Louise replied, “bunch of confusing biochemistry, and some crazy hormones.”
I referenced the film’s dialogue earlier, and it succeeds in enchanting viewers even more as the story progresses. For this, I commend writer Justin Benson, who also served as the other co-director. With such a rich story and intelligent dialogue present in Spring, there is no question as to why filmmaker Guillermo del Toro praised the film as being “one of the best horror films this decade.” Its Lovecraftian aura took me to another dimension, one I’ve been begging to learn more about since Spring’s 109-minute runtime ended.
I first watched this movie at an Alamo Drafthouse, where I discovered that it was a Drafthouse Original Film. Indeed, I am a fan of the viewing experience Alamo Drafthouse theaters provide, but Spring is the reason my love for Drafthouse was solidified. This film has that much power. Furthermore, Dread Central gave the film four stars.
So now, with everything I told you above, and everyone else in the world practically worshipping this film, why would you remain part of the few horror fans that haven’t seen this phenomenal, heart-filled spectacle. It is more than a great horror. Bottomline, it is a movie that you need in your life. Point blank. Period.