Spontaneous is a 2020 American coming-of-age romantic black comedy horror film, written and directed by Brian Duffield, in his directorial debut. It stars Katherine Langford, Charlie Plummer, Hayley Law, Piper Perabo, Rob Huebel and Yvonne Orji and is based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Aaron Starmer. It was released in a limited release on October 2, 2020, followed by video on demand on October 6, 2020, by Paramount Pictures. It received generally positive reviews from critics.
During a senior calculus class at Covington High, senior student Katelyn Ogden inexplicably explodes, spraying the surrounding students and classroom with blood. The police take the class into custody during an investigation, but aside from ruling out an attack, are unable to determine the cause of the explosion.
During custody, senior student Mara Carlyle (Katherine Langford) suggests to the class that it could happen again, a sentiment taken seriously by her peers. Afterwards, an unknown person texts her, claiming to have had a crush on her for multiple years: Mara promptly asks for the texter not to send a dick pic, to which the individual responds with a picture of Richard Nixon.
Following Katelyn’s funeral service, Mara gets high on mushrooms purchased from school dealers, Jenna and Joe Dalton (Laine MacNeil and Clive Holloway), and goes for tea with her best friend Tess (Hayley Law); fellow student Dylan (Charlie Plummer) approaches the pair and reveals himself to be the unknown texter with said crush on Mara. Dylan explains how he had begun thinking of life and how quickly it could end, and upon hearing Mara’s suggestion of the incident repeating itself, realized that he needed to take action.
They begin seeing one another and attend a school football game and house party, although each is cut short when a jock, Perry Love, and drink server, Cranberry Bollinger, explode, respectively, sending the attendees into a panic. Classes are cancelled for a while, and people begin to dub the explosions as “The Covington Curse”. The incidents attract the attention of numerous government agencies, who place FBI Agent Carla Rosetti (Yvonne Orji) on the case; she enlists Mara and Tess as aid.