Freddy-With a review of the social media obsessed horror/comedy titled SPREE.
Hey guys what’s up?!!?
So starts SPREE and its desperate for attention lead Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery). Kurt is a good enough guy. He lives at home with his parents. You never see his mom and his dad Kris played by the surprisingly pitch perfect David Arquette, is a heroin addicted music producer working out of his basement. (AKA not successful).
None of that really matters to Kurt. All he wants in life is more likes and followers to his livestream video blog @kurtsworld96. He has roughly a follower, so this should take a while.
With no one watching his day to day streams he joins SPREE, an obvious Uber/Lyft styled rideshare service. He’s also working with the kid he used to babysit Bobby (Joshua Ovalle) who is gracious enough to try and share Kurt’s livestream with his much larger audience.
An audience Bobby earned by humiliating the homeless in his shared videos. There's a particularly hilarious scene involving one hundred dollars and the ensuing set up shot.
When Bobby's help doesn't work, Kurt gets an idea in his head and commits it to action. It all starts with poisoning some water bottles he happily hands to his passengers.
Frederick (Linas Phillips) arrives as the first passenger and also first white nationalist that Kurt has met. Freddy doesn’t appreciate Kurt’s crappy homemade EDM music or his penchant for running red lights. He’s also thirsty.
Andrea (Jessalyn Gilsig) is next, stuck in her cellphone while Kurt smiles smugly into the dashboard camera anticipating her first gulp. He uses her comatose face soon after to open her phone and complete the ride w/tip! He’s careful not to raise too much suspicion and only gives himself two dollars.
Johnny is going to be pissed.
Still with no new followers he ups the ante and picks up two rideshares simultaneously. They’re both not too happy with that but Jessie Adams (Sasheeer Zamata) relents eventually and gets in. She’s a toughie and the douche she’s sharing the ride with ends up with water all over his face as she leaves the car. She’s free and he’s comatose in seconds.
Kurt is literally filming murders for his fans and not gaining any followers. It all hardly seems worth it.
Then he runs to Bobby’s house and kills him and instantly gains a ton of fans. The new fans aren't sure it’s all real and the comments fly by on the bottom of the screen, too hard to keep up with. Like any livestream, there’s some pretty great comments when you’re paying attention though. Kurt ties his stream to Bobby’s and he’s got a few hundred fans in minutes. I guess they weren’t loyal fans.
Kurt is finally getting the attention he needs. He’s talking to his fans and preparing for his next kill. Mischa Barton's friends die in particular bloody circumstances involving a sunroof and bloody Kurt has to run through a car wash as a result.
I see dead people!
Then Kurt gets it, the bigger the streamer the more viewers he will attain by killing them. No one has a bigger following than Jessie. Kurt sets up to kill Jessie in front of her enormous following but she gives an affecting speech. Realizing the error of his ways he stops everything and retires in San Diego.
Nope, instead he leaves Jessie alone momentarily and tries more and more outlandish shit.
Then those two meet again.
In the end, he’s up to 3,000 followers and immortalized on Reddit/etc. So maybe it all has a happy ending after all?
END OF SPOILERS
SPREE is as advertised. A social media obsessed modern day equivalent to AMERICAN PSYCHO’s desire for success. Success these days is determined by the amount of likes and viewers you get.
Eugene Kotlyarenko (WOBBLE PALACE) directed this one and co-wrote the screenplay with Gene McHugh. As chaotic as the pacing/editing is, it works. It’s literally the story they’re telling.
SPREE could even be a play on names. While I’m not sure I can see a shopping spree in there, there’s definitely a killing version!
I think SPREE will split its audience. The content will bother some while horror fans like myself will enjoy being along for the ride.
Personally, I found it to be a pretty hilarious social commentary on where we stand in 2020. It’s outrageous, pretty damn funny and works at a breakneck speed. Filmed entirely through cellphone videos, live streams, dash cams and cctv footage, you’d think it might be a rough watch. I didn’t get dizzy or lightheaded once though and I’m as weak as they come in that regard. I made it 30 minutes into RED DEAD REDEMPTION before I gave up playing and had to lay down.
For the night.
Overall, SPREE is a pretty funny,kinetic and gruesome take on our youth. It’s consistently funny, while throwing everything but the kitchen sink at you in its 1hr 33min timeframe.
Joe Keery showed a ton more range than I thought he had in him. I know he had a level of charisma in STRANGER THINGS but i wasn't prepared. After this one, I want to watch whatever he tries next. He’s talented and really puts himself out there for this flick.
I had a really good time with SPREE and absolutely recommend it to you horror fans. You get some good gore, a lot of chuckles and a guide to our future.
As Kurt says, “If you’re not showing yourself. You don’t exist.”
There’s more truth in that stupid line than I like to admit.
SPREE is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Until the next one,