Comedy/horror Spree is distributed in UK cinemas by Vertigo Releasing, following its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery), a driver for Spree (an Uber-like taxi company) has spent years obsessively trying to become a social media star and influencer, yet his viewership of his content has rarely hit double figures. Deciding to do something different that he believes is sure to get a huge following, Kurt puts cameras all around his car and starts to live-stream his day of work with one huge change from usual…he murders his passengers in the live-stream.
- Director Eugene Kotlyarenko creates a fast-paced film, directed with real energy and utilises the film’s minuscule budget very well.
- Joe Keery’s central performance is very off-kilter and full of raw energy, while Sasheer Zamata’s passionate turn makes her the supporting cast stand-out.
- Stylistically this film is all over the place. It is part Nerve, part Searching, part Death Proof, part mockumentary, all without any balance or any real effort at all to emulate those styles thoroughly or successfully.
- A sloppily edited film due to the sheer number of cameras and phone screens that the narrative is seen through, including in the second half multiple phone screens at once, which is highly distracting as Eugene Kotlyarenko gives us too many things to try to take in at once.
- The film’s premise alone has potential to be a satire of social media culture, yet it fails to fulfil that due to the predictable and somewhat repetitive narrative that adds nothing new, original or even clever to the ongoing efforts in the film industry to engage with, comment on or satirise social media culture. It is also very half-hearted in its attempts to comment on internet culture generally and present-day American politics.
- A generally under-utilised supporting cast, the ones who most notably fall into that bracket being Kyle Mooney, Mischa Barton and David Arquette.