review by Bobby Blakey
There is something about blowing people up in movies that serves all sorts of genres. It can be played up for terror, action and even comedy. The latest film Spontaneous is taking the task and bringing it front and center. The film stars Katherine Langford, Charlie Plummer, Yvonne Orji, Hayley Law, with Rob Huebel and Piper Perabo with Underwater and The Divergent: Insurgent writer Brian Duffield in the director’s chair. Could this strange love story deliver the bloody fun or will it spontaneously combust?
Spontaneous follows students in their high school who begin inexplicably exploding (literally…) and seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last. As an unexpected romance blossoms between them, Mara and Dylan discover that when tomorrow is no longer promised, they can finally start living for today!
The idea here is pretty simple and yet there is so much more to it than I expected. I thought it was going to be more of an over the top horror-like comedy, but instead it’s a teen love story with the combusting teens as a backdrop. The structure of the film is refreshing and fun from start to finish. The young cast are all great with each bringing their own unique performance and personalities really brings you into this high school I know it’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before in a teen comedy, but it’s so important here with the circumstance they are dealing with.
I love that they use the scenario of the yearbook photo session to deal with each kid that combusts as they tell their story. To my surprise there is a ton of blood but very little gore for a movie about spontaneous combustion. It plays in the ideal of less is more while still letting the blood fly by the gallons in the most fun way possible. This not only creates this shocking surprise, but also a fun twist to the fear that you can’t outrun and even better there is never really a reason.
The heart here is in the love story that is sweet and cute while leaves you waiting for the next blood explosion to interrupt the romance. The ongoing narration and effects it has across the board seems to enhance what could have been a generic film and in turn makes it bring so much more to the table. This is a silly premise that just works and kind of brings some social commentary all wrapped up in the scariness. I think one of the best parts seems to be the teens slowly stop being scared and just annoyed by the whole thing and want answers.
I loved this movie and hope it finds the audience it deserves. Check out Spontaneous available now in select theaters and digital platforms from Paramount.