Many a teen film has had to do with exploding young people. Their emotions causing a combustion of sorts. Brian Duffield’s (first film) film involves exploding teens. Literally. Teens are seemingly spontaneously combusting. Panic erupts.
Seniors Mara (Katherine Langford – Knives Out, Love, Simon) and Dylan (Charlie Plummer – Looking for Alaska, Lean on Pete) do their best to stay alive. Doing so brings them together and unexpectedly they fall for one another.
Comedy/horror, mixed with coming of age and romance. All those cinematic elements are put in a pot together and stirred vigourously. Out comes a rather surprisingly delightful goulash with a little bit of this and that.
We all need a little bit of levity at this time and a film this kooky fills the bill. Made up of sight gags and exploding high school seniors, it even makes the quarantine imposed upon those which have not combusted to keep them safe not as grim as you might suspect.
The reason it is able to accomplish what it does is due to the wit in front of and behind the camera. That combined with its dark nature will make those who watch it harken back to fondly thought of teen cult films like Heathers and Donnie Darko.
Another fine aspect is the two young leads. They do great jobs on two very different characters – one wild and contrary with the other being shy and usually sweet. Despite the differences they just work together onscreen.
Lastly a forte about the film is the myriad of pop culture references. They are said slyly, but always there. Though fast and furious they are astute, rarely missing the mark.