Directed by Ti West [Other horror films: The Roost (2005), Trigger Man (2007), The House of the Devil (2009), The Innkeepers (2011), V/H/S (2012, segment ‘Second Honeymoon’), The ABCs of Death (2012, segment ‘M is for Miscarriage’), The Sacrament (2013), X (2022)]
I sort of wanted to like this movie, if for no other reason, to erase the taste of the first from my mouth. But while this movie had some pretty decent effects and disgustingly heavy gore, I felt extraordinarily lukewarm toward it as the credits began to roll.
Let’s get the good out of the way, which won’t take too long. I liked both Noah Segan and Alexi Wasser in their roles. I thought they played a cute couple, despite not really being a couple until perhaps the end. Neither one has been in much I’ve particularly seen, but they did well here with what they had. The idea behind the film, in which contaminated water spreads the skin-eating disease past the perimeters of the original, was fun. I just don’t think it was executed well.
Lastly, the gore was moderately top-notch. There were two scenes that were frankly difficult to stomach (keywords being “fingernail” and “dick”), and though I felt repulsed, I can’t deny those scenes’ efficacy. The problem is, I expected a bit more during the prom sequence. Sure, every other person was throwing up blood, but come on, that’s it? No body parts falling off? No grisly face melts? It just felt toned down, which could probably be explained by the fact they hadn’t been exposed to the disease long enough for those extreme effects to be seen, but even so, it was disappointing.
Also disappointing was the pretty unexciting first half of the movie. I don’t mind a little high school drama, but come on, get to something good. Occasionally showing us the party cop from the first movie investigating doesn’t do it for me. And while we’re at it, I was pretty disappointed in Giuseppe Andrews’ story-line in the movie. I was hoping for some type of redemption from his actions in the first, but instead, he sort of goes nowhere.
Speaking of useless sequences, though, the final ten minutes, starting in the strip club, didn’t strike me as necessary at all. What did we learn from that? The disease is spreading still? As if that was supposed to take us by surprise…
The animated beginning and ending was sort of interesting, but this movie didn’t do much at all for me. I was hoping (though not seriously expecting) a more serious tone, but again, it wasn’t to be. Did I enjoy Spring Fever more than the first movie? Probably, yes, but it’s not by much, and much like the first movie, I really can’t see myself deciding to give this one a re-watch for the enjoyment of it.