Spree follows a sociopathic young man who uses an Uber-like service to commit acts of violence on people to increase his social media presence.
Spree is an erratic film that spends most of its time walking the tightrope between "found footage" slasher and horror-comedy, never settling on one instilled emotion or logical pathway. Instead of logic, we are quickly thrown into the perspective of the world from a disturbed young man (played brilliantly by Joe Keery, Stranger Things) who appears so desperate for attention through his social media outlets that he is willing to kill for it. It is equal parts extravagantly ridiculous and unsettling real. It's surreal, yet accurate to our cultural stigma. It's a piece of fiction, yet it's happened and will happen again.
Spree's commitment to the imbalanced and psychotic view of its lead is what carries the intrigue, but also a fairly accurate portrayal into the life of a sociopath desperate for attention. Keery's role clearly lacks connection with his behavior and empathy for his victims. It feels eerily accurate to a scenario that is all-too-possible, even probable, to occur. In fact, milder instances of this plot have happened already, both in social media and in the Uber/Lyft worlds.
The film regularly cuts to other streamers, carrying the social commentary of our digital culture a step further. These moments sometimes have purpose, providing foreshadowing, character development, or merely comedic relief to break from the disturbing smirk of Keery between kills. But there were moments where it caused its commentary to veer from clever into heavy-handed, which killed the momentum of the film more than the annoying streamers that are all-too-accurate to today's social platforms.
The film is at its best when we are experiencing the demented nature of Keery, as his actions make him completely unpredictable, making the progression of the plot as hard to guess as any in the past decade. His violent, erratic actions and chipper-yet-emotionless personality are equally hilarious and disturbing.
Despite the whacky nature of the film, it has very serious undertones. Where are we headed with our obsession with social media, likes, and followers? What are the dangers in our everyday trust in others? Is our lack of digital accountability leaking into our physical interactions? How will sociopaths/psychopaths adapt/interact in an increasingly digitally-dependent world? This film takes a darkly humorous look into these questions, but at the end of the film, the somber truth is how possible it all is...and how most of the people exist and interact in a very familiar way. It's like looking in a mirror and laughing at first and then realizing...no...that's really how you look.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10 Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 7/10