Is Spree Based Off of a Real Killing Spree?

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

Is Spree based off of a real killing spree?

Spree is a 2020 satirical horror film about a fame-starved rideshare driver who murders his passengers in the hopes of going viral online. Starring Stranger Things actor Joe Keery as Kurt Kunkle, the film is a dark and terrifying look at how social media can lead to dangerous behavior. The movie’s plot is based off of some true events and a real mass murder by an Uber driver in 2016.

According to the movie’s director Eugene Kotlyarenko, Spree was inspired by a case where an Uber driver went on a killing spree and killed six people in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kotlyarenko, along with co-writer Gene McHugh, wanted to make a minimalist horror film about a kill-crazed influencer driving around killing his fares.

The movie is shot in found-footage style, with most of the scenes taking place on the dashcams and phones of the characters. This gives the movie a sense of immediacy and realism that is both unsettling and captivating. It also helps add to the tension as Kurt’s killing rampage continues throughout the film.

As a satire, Spree is effective at showing the dangers of the internet and the power of influencers. It is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of chasing fame and attention. The film’s main character, Kurt Kunkle, is a self-proclaimed ‘content creator’ who wants nothing more than to be famous online. In the film, he is shown putting his victims through the same pressures and demands that most influencers go through in order to gain followers and likes.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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