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High school is a great backdrop for genre stories, because it's a tumultous time in anyone's life and therefore creates the perfect environment for metaphors and strange occurences that only the teenagers living them can fully understand. And, of course, because being in high school can make you feel like the weirdest person on Earth, there's really no limit to just how strange these stories can get. Which helps explain the new dark comedy Spontaneous, a film in which teens are, quite literally, blowing up all over school.
The film stars Katherine Langford and Charlie Plummer as Mara and Dylan, a relatively new couple who are getting very into each other, in no small part because they seem to share a very similar sense of humor. But things get complicated when, one day in class, Mara witnesses another teen simply pop "like a balloon." See, the "spontaenous" of the title refers not just to teens making spur-of-the-moment romantic decisions — but also to spontaenous human combustion.
As the new trailer for the film goes on, and Mara and Dylan attempt to navigate what seems to be a full-blown outbreak at their high school, things get even more complicated. The school is shut down, investigators move in, and all the students are taken for what looks to be a battery of tests. The wacky, fast-paced trailer doesn't attempt to offer any solution to the mystery, but Mara does make one thing very clear to her parents: They can't ever say their high school experience was worse than hers ever again.
Spontaneous marks the directorial debut of Brian Duffield, who also adapted the screenplay from Aaron Starmer's novel of the same name. If you recognize Duffield's name, that's because he's already made his mark in both horror and horror-comedy thanks to recent credits like the creature feature Underwater and the teen slasher comedy The Babysitter. He seems to have all the tools in hand to get the tone of this very wild movie right. Now we just have to see if he nails it.
Spontaneous also stars Hayley Law, Piper Perabo, Rob Huebel, and Yvonne Orji. The film is set to hit theaters October 2 ahead of a video on-demand release on October 6.