Spree

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Spree Movie Poster Image
Strong star performance in violent social media satire.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Explores big ideas, questions related to social media. What's behind drive to achieve social media fame? How far would you go to get it? How far is too far?

Positive Role Models & Representations

As likable and as funny as some of the characters are -- and as great as it is to see a Black woman in a strong role -- they're frankly awful people who aren't worth emulating. A White supremacist appears in one scene, saying things like "I'm White and I'm proud"; the movie doesn't condone his behavior.

Violence

Many characters are killed, with strong blood and gore. Methods of attack/death include power drill, stabbing, guns/shooting. Huge blood puddle, blood spray, a bloody face. Character run over by a car; blood spatter on windshield. Punching. Strangling. Character drinks poisoned water, chokes, dies. Car drives recklessly through encampment of unhoused people. Car crash. Attacking dog. A cruel spoof YouTube video is about "pranking the homeless."

Sex

Strong sex-related talk. Reference to a character having a "sex tape." One character creepily hits on another; she rebuffs him.

Language

Extremely strong language, with constant use of "f--k," "motherf----r," "f--kin' A," "bulls--t," "p---y," "c--k," "d--k," "bitch," "goddamn," "badass," "f--got," "LMFAO," "GTFO," "WTF," "libtard," "retard," "boner," "cream your jeans," "fap," etc.

Consumerism

Mentions of several online/social media services, including Reddit, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr. Fox News broadcast shown. Dell computer shown. Smart & Final shown. Apple iPhone face shown. Apps (Shazam, etc.) shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Pot smoking in more than one scene.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spree is a satirical horror-comedy thriller about a ride-share driver who goes on a killing spree and livestreams everything. It's presented entirely on surveillance cameras, phone cameras, and livestreams. Violence is very strong, with killings and dead bodies, lots of blood and gore, guns and shooting, fighting, strangling, stabbing, car crashes, etc. A car also drives through an encampment of unhoused people. Language is extremely strong, with constant use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "f--got," and "retard." There's also sex talk, references to a sex tape, and creepy flirting. Pot smoking is shown more than once. While it doesn't shy away from being offensive, it generally works because of its smarts and a strong performance by Joe Keery of Stranger Things.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBlitzGuy20 August 16, 2020

Super original psycho flick has extremely graphic violence and strong language

Spree is a jaw dropping, edge of your seat film shot completely by the characters devices on social media. Throughout you can expect extremely pervasive languag... Continue reading
Adult Written bycami098 August 19, 2020

lots of violence

this is a violent movie, as the whole premise is a knockoff uber driver is killing his riders. there’s some language and mentions of “banging a chick” or someth... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPeachy.schnapp August 15, 2020

I LOVED IT

Ok so I’m 13 but I would say 13-14 years and up for this movie. It is really good but there is a lot of killing,guns,dead bodies, blood, etc. Joe Keery did an A... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bytukiecereal August 15, 2020

Very good

While watching this, the violence was good, I say to NOT Do this in real Life, No nudity or sex, The blood is a lot to see as many deaths, I say overall to see... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SPREE, Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery) is a would-be social media star, having posted videos for years while rarely achieving more than single-digit numbers in terms of views and likes. Now working as a Spree ride-share driver, he makes a life change. He mounts cameras all around his car and sets to work. He picks up a man who turns out to be a White supremacist. Kurt offers him a complimentary bottle of water, and the man chokes and dies. Kurt reveals that he's on a killing spree, trying to document as many kills as he can. But then he picks up stand-up comic Jessie Adams (Sasheer Zamata), and he realizes that if he can piggyback on her huge social media following, that would double his chances of becoming a star. Thus begins a long, strange, and very bloody night.

Is it any good?

While its themes are nothing new, this demented, envelope-pushing satire somehow balances its sadistic violence with smart humor and Keery's lovable, lunatic puppy dog performance. Like so many movies before it, Spree attempts to skewer obsessions with online fame, continually readjusting where the line is crossed and for whom. Its ultimate conclusion -- that we're obsessed with social media and that it's almost impossible to quit -- isn't new, but the road to get there is certainly fascinatingly teasing. That said, plenty of viewers are also likely to find many of the movie's scenes offensive.

Spree is presented through a combination of surveillance footage and footage shot on phones, as well as livestreams, complete with a never-ending scroll of emojis and comments. Director Eugene Kotlyarenko uses these for maximum creepiness, employing split-screens that offer two different perspectives at once. Zamata is perfectly cast and does great work, but the key to the movie is Keery. As he did as Steve on Stranger Things, he finds a link between extremes. In the midst of Kurt's good-natured, happy-go-lucky attitude and his deep psychopathy, there's a deep loneliness and neediness that Keery beautifully draws on. It's very difficult to create such a brutal character that we can also feel sorry for.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Spree's violence. Is violence glorified here? How did the violent scenes affect you?

  • How far would you go to be a social media or YouTube star? How far is too far? Who decides what "too far" is?

  • How did you feel about elements of the film like the White supremacist character, the prank on the unhoused people, and the use of terms like "f--got" and "retard"? Does the movie seem to condone these things, or is it satirizing their existence?

  • Is the Black character here accurately represented? Is she a stereotype? A role model? Why is it important to see a wide range of representation in the media?

  • Is pot smoking glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror and satire

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