Spree (2020)

Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery) is a Spree driver (basically an Uber driver for those who live in Australia). Kurt has desires to become a famous influencer when it comes to social media and over the last ten years has been trying to grow his number of followers. But unfortunately for Kurt and his username, @kurtsworld96, Kurt cannot seem to earn any big followers or viewers whenever he streams live. Kurt is sick of streaming to less than ten people at a time when his best friends around him are way more successful as influencers.  Unlike Kurt, his friends have more followers and no issues at maintaining viewers on live streams.  On April 12th, 2019 Kurt finally went viral. 

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Finally, having had enough and sick of failing with his online presence, Kurt decides to take his live streams to a whole new level while working for Spree.  Introducing what Kurt calls #thelesson, he installs several wireless cameras in his car, giving his current followers a whole new show.  Kurt begins to pick up passengers and these people have no idea that they are about to become a victim.  He has placed spiked water bottles in the car, putting his customers straight to sleep within a matter of seconds.  Along with live streaming to the world, he begins to murder each person he interacts with, all for the viewers to see with nothing hidden. Kurt has truly lost his mind to gain a following online.  But will followers of @kurtsworld96 believe that what he is doing is for real? And most importantly, will Kurt get caught with his new and sick methods?

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The editing and pacing of this film are wonderful, and I am somewhat reminded of another film which was also positive when it came to the use of technology and putting it on the big screen.  Naturally, I am talking about the film ‘Searching’ which featured back in 2018.  As a film, Spree feels quite relevant and will be relatable to many people who use social media daily, including myself.  Spree is well made to show plenty of videos and split screens, all showing what Kurt is filming when it comes to committing murders or even just him driving around dangerously.  As the viewers we also witness minor and critical details such as the comments coming in from Kurt’s followers as they continue to question if what they are viewing is real.  Sometimes his viewers just post rude comments about Kurt as an individual.  All of these small details are quite acceptable given the plot.  Spree also has several things happening at once and because of this, it never bored me as a film.  The film’s pacing is quick and fast, rarely slowing down and I enjoyed how this film’s concept feels like something we are yet to see before.

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Actor Joe Keery as Kurt was also great when it comes to performances.  You can feel his character change and grow into a bigger monster as the film progresses.  I also enjoyed that the film was kind enough to provide more of Kurt’s past, along with footage of him making the discovery of social media and how @kurtsworld96 came to life, all within the film’s opening.  The film’s music score was also pleasing and sometimes unsettling which also fitted Kurt’s quirky personality.

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Many elements feel real here, particularly when it comes to people and how they use social media in the present day.  There are some elements within the film though which will require ignorance from the audience, and many watching the film will not be able to choose to ignore these details.  One major example is the thought that a young man doing such horrible crimes could get away with it without the attention of the police.  It is an extremely unlikely result, but after all this is just a film.  Kurt’s victims are also generally rude or silly people, making it feel like the film was trying to justify why Kurt was murdering them.  This also takes away the element of suspense.  Any good people in this film have predictable outcomes, including what their roles in this film will ultimately be.  This film is best enjoyed if viewers can ignore such elements and not let them irritate them. 

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Overall, Spree is certainly a fresh film which has lots happening on-screen during every second.  Witnessing a man who gets so desperate for social media followers and is willing to murder people, streaming it live is a fresh concept in film.  Sadly, it all feels possibly real in the present day.  Movie lovers will be quite impressed by this unsettling concept.  The lead performance by Joe Kerry was great to see as he grows into a crazy serial killer.  The film’s editing and pacing is incredible, and the film is most certainly never dull.  Those watching the film will find faults when it comes to realism.  If you can ignore some of these elements though, the film can easily be enjoyed by many.

5.8/10

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REVIEW WRITTEN BY PETER WALKDEN

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Set in 1970 rural Australia, we follow Leo (Mark Leonard Winter), whose life recently changed dramatically when his wife decided to leave him without any notice.  Leo is now a single father looking after his two children while working full-time as a...

The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson (2021)

The year is 1893.  Molly Johnson (Leah Purcell) is a bushwoman living with her four young children. Molly is currently running the family farm while her husband is away working as a drover.  We learn very quickly that Molly shouldn’t be messed with. Molly is...

Rob Jabbaz – The Sadness (2021)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with #RobJabbaz, director and writer of #TheSadness (2021), which is now available exclusively on #Shudder! https://youtu.be/AxLi8hCck60 1st May 2022 Presented by Peter Walkden (Walkden...

Taneli Mustonen – The Twin (2022)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with #TaneliMustonen, who is the director and writer of #TheTwin (2022). This film is Now Available Exclusively on #Shudder! https://youtu.be/tVbXasuBnAM 1st May 2022 Presented by Peter...

The Twin (2022)

The film begins with the deep tones of a piano score and a family car driving on the road.  We don't get to go inside of the car, but we can hear a happy family sharing laughter and discussions until a tragic crash accident occurs off-screen.  The tragic...

Forty Winks (2022)

Set in the present day, the film follows Fabio (Justin Marcel McManus), who works as a Hypnotist in New York City.  But life for Fabio could be a whole lot better.  Fabio recently appeared on a popular TV show where he was invited to try and hypnotise the...

The House of Snails (2021)

Antonio Prieto (Javier Rey) is driving to a small town called Quintanar.  Renting a large house for a month to seek some solitude and silence, Antonio hopes to put his skills as a writer to good use and complete his newest book.  When he arrives at the...

The Northman (2022)

The film begins with a young prince named Amleth, who takes part in a ritual with his wounded father, King Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke).  The ritual introduces Prince Amleth to the world of manhood.  As he enters this new stage of his life, the prince...

Beyond the Summit (2022)

Mateo (Javier Rey) is a man who is filled with determination.  Extremely fit, he's been training and preparing each day with hopes of one day achieving a big dream- climbing Annapurna.  When the time comes, Mateo packs his things and says his farewell to his...

Crabs! (2021)

Set in the small town of Mendocino, California, Crabs! begins with a tragic incident when a power plant explodes and collapses into the sea. Nearby is a single, lonely Crab who is affected by the power plant's destruction.  This crab begins to mutate dramatically...

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

In the present day, actor Nic Cage can't seem to catch a break. He's struggling to get a decent role in any big blockbuster film, going through a divorce that keeps him in the eyes of the public, in debt, and to top it off, he ruined his daughter's sixteenth birthday...

Werewolf Castle (2021)

Set during medieval times, the film follows Thorfinn (Peter Lofsgard), a village boy.  One night, Thorfinn's village is attacked by a violent pack of werewolves.  As a result of the unexpected attack, Thorfinn loses his parents, brother and the love of his...

The Hunter (1980)

The film follows Ralph Thorson (Steve McQueen), nicknamed “Papa”.  Papa works as a bounty hunter travelling from city to city to find those wanted by the law.  When it comes to bounty hunting, Papa has been doing it for a long time and has the status of...

Brendan Muldowney – The Cellar (2021)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with #BrandanMuldowney, the director and writer of a new horror film #TheCellar (2022), which is Now Available exclusive to #Shudder. https://youtu.be/R1oI7Vyfkjo 8th April 2022...

The Cellar (2022)

Keira Wood (Elisha Cuthbert) moves into a new home along with her husband Brian (Eion Macken) and their two children, Ellie (Abby Fitz) and Steven (Dylan Fitzmaurice Brady).  The house looks like an old mansion and is, as Keira’s daughter, Ellie, describes it, an...

Jay Cheel – Cursed Films II (2022)

Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Jay Cheel who is a director and writer of the popular mini-series Cursed Films II (2022).  The second series is now available exclusively on Shudder!  Episode One of...

Rabbit Academy: Mission Eggpossible (2022)

The film begins with a group of rabbits at school witnessing the Golden Magical Egg selecting candidates for being a Master Bunny.  The egg selects many students, including the strange inclusion of a city bunny named Max (Noah Levi), who is quite clumsily and...

Ambulance (2022)

Will (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is a highly-skilled ex-veteran.  In the present day, Los Angeles, Will is doing everything he can to pay his wife’s medical bills as she has cancer.  Left with no other choice, he decides to speak to his adoptive brother Danny...

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

Continuing on from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Secret of Dumbledore once again follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who is approached by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).  This time, Dumbledore learns new information about Gellert Grindelwald...

Cursed Films II: The Wizard of Oz (2022)

Cursed Films returns in whole new five-part documentary series. Series II, like Season One, looks at the many myths and tales about some of Hollywood’s most popular horror flicks, and the reveals are bound to shock you to your core. We all love a good horror film, but...

Nobody Has to Know (2021)

Set in the Scottish Isle of Lewis, Phil (Bouli Lanners) is a middle-aged man who suffers a stroke while walking along a local beach.  Thankfully he is found and given urgent assistance at a local hospital.  Soon the word of Phil's stroke goes around the...

Morbius (2022)

Michael (Jared Leto) is a doctor in Biochemistry.  From a young age, Michael was always terribly ill as his body has a rare blood disorder. In the present day, Michael continues to live with the disease, studying with hopes of one day finding a cure. After...

The Bad Guys (2022)

Have you ever felt being good is simply no fun whatsoever? Well, perhaps you will relate to this misunderstood team of criminals- a gang of animals known as The Bad Guys! They're well known for causing chaos and havoc within the city, and are wanted for conducting...

The Duke (2020)

Set in the year 1961, the film begins with a sixty-year-old man named Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent) appearing in court.  He's on trial for snatching the portrait of the Duke of Wellington, which was on display at the National Gallery in London.  He stands...

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)

Continuing on from where we last left Sonic (Ben Schwartz), the blue Hedgehog continues trying to blend in and find his purpose within the city.  Sonic roams the streets like a superhero vigilante at night, calling himself “Blue Justice”.  When police sirens...

The Commando (2022)

James Baker (Michael Jai White) is an elite DEA agent.  The film begins with a mission that has tragic consequences, costing the life of three hostages.  With the mission complete, James returns home with a limp and is determined to move forward from the...

Deathcheaters (1976)

Steve (John Hargreaves) and Rod (Grant Page) first met during the Vietnam war when serving as jungle commandos.  After surviving the war, the two continue to have a strong bond and friendship.  In the present day, the pair work on various films and...

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), own the local laundromat, and their home is located on the floor above.  As the film begins, we soon learn more about Evelyn and Waymond’s marriage and the challenges surrounding them.  Some...

Nowhere Special (2020)

Based on actual events, the film follows John (James Norton), who works as a window cleaner.  At the age of thirty-five, John is unwell and is told he only has several months to live.  While dealing with his medical conditions, John also needs to find...

Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

Set in 1999, the film follows James (Harry Shum Jr.), who works as a video archiver.  If someone requires an important news clip from the 80s on DVD, James is the one who does the transfer.  We also have a vague understanding that James is dealing with a...

Night’s End (2022)

Ken Barber (Geno Walker) moves into a fairly dull and quiet apartment.  It's not long until Ken becomes "a shut-in", hiding from the world and having little interactions with strangers.  Ken has no job, so he attempts to start a video channel with various...

Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography (2022)

Where did Carbon come from?  How does Carbon work?  Did it come from the big bang?  This new feature-length documentary will discuss every question you’ve had about Carbon.  From the beginning of this feature, we understand that Carbon’s creation...

It Snows in Benidorm (2020)

Peter (Timothy Spall) works at the Manchester bank. We learn early in the film that Peter is, in fact, a kind-hearted man who is willing to help others in need, even when management above will disagree with his decision and kindness. Thanks to personal narration and...

The Bunker Game (2022)

During an atomic war, a large group of survivors live in a sealed bunker underground.  But things are not what they seem.  It is revealed early in the film that the setting and even the survivors are all fake!  The whole setup is simply a L.A.R.P. If...