films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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2020 / 101m - USA
Comedy, Horror
Spontaneous poster

A very pleasant surprise. I'm not big on US high school films, but the Daruma-derived premise (check Miike's As the Gods Will) sounded like a lot of fun and as Halloween is drawing closer films like these deserve the benefit of the doubt. It turned out to be a nice gamble, though the potential was there to be even better.

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Mara is attending a pretty run-of-the-mill high school, until people in her senior year suddenly start exploding, leaving only a puddle of blood in their wake. It puts everyone on edge, but with no obvious explanation for the spontaneous explosions people have no choice but to continue living their lives.

Spontaneous is a weird mix of styles and genres. The film has very gentle characters, the comedy is edgy without being mean and the mix of (relatively mild) splatter and high school comedy works surprisingly well. It makes for 60 minutes of lovely entertainment, after which the film turns sour for no good reason at all. It's a stupefying switch in tone that was completely unnecessary, hopefully Duffield gets the ending right next time, because the talent is clearly there.