Spree is not your average film.
That isn’t to say that it’s not average in almost every regard, but Spree is particularly hard to define.
Usually, when a movie doesn’t quite fit into any particular genre, it’s a result of distinct uniqueness, but every now and then, you get something like Spree, that doesn’t quite pull off any of the features that would see it defined as any particular type of movie.
It’s entertaining, and it keeps you watching, if only out of the disbelief it inspires.
The entire affair feels as though it was written by a disgruntled teen after they failed to gather an internet following, and although it’s undoubtedly intended to carry an anti-social media message, it falls short of warning its audience of the dangers of chasing online clout.
Instead, Spree simply follows Ube– sorry, Spree – driver Kurt Kunkle in his ill-conceived attempt to garner a following online as he kills his passengers while live streaming the whole thing.
Spree also sends a number of problematic messages that are never addressed within the movie’s narrative. Firstly, Kurt repeatedly uses his phone while driving, and the passenger seat belts in Kurt’s car are seemingly non-existent. There’s also the matter of Kurt’s instructional video on how to successfully dose bottles of water with sedatives, which no doubt could raise more than a problems with Spree’s more impressionable audience members.
Thankfully, it seems that Spree will never be seen by enough people to have any adverse effects in the real world, but that isn’t for lack on trying on the movie’s part.
Lastly, the movie leans so heavily on its knock-off branding (the fake-Insta streaming platform, “Go-Go” and “Spree”), that there’s more than a few heavy cringes to be had, but none bigger than the appearance of website 4chan as a framing device, indicating that the whole movie is a found-footage homage to “the Rideshare Killer”.
Spree feels like an attack on its very target audience, but it’s so laughably executed that even those that watched it aren’t likely to care.
Spree’s saving grace lies within star Joe Keery’s on-screen presence. Despite rising to fame as the effortlessly cool and lovable Steve Harrington in Stranger Things, the Keery we see here is a tragically needy and insignificant character. Even when he’s committing truly atrocious acts, it’s hard to care about him or what it is he’s hoping to achieve, and if it wasn’t for Keery’s outstanding work on Stranger Things, you’d probably believe that he just wasn’t a very good actor. As it stands, though, Keery’s performance is probably the only truly watchable aspect of the movie, and it isn’t even that good.
Summary: A confused combination of comedy and horror that tries desperately to convey a message, Spree ultimately fails on all accounts. It’s watchable, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth watching.