We’ve got to drag the Mexican around?
As I enter the fifth day of my horror review marathon leading up to Halloween (I have a special review planned for that day), I have actually managed to get ahead of myself in terms of schedule (I’m actually submitting this on Sunday and timing it to Monday lunch) and this means that I could potentially get in more than the 31 reviews that I have planned for the month….but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
One of my favourite horror films from my youth was the Jeff Daniels movie “Arachnophobia”. I first saw the 15 rated horror in December 1991 when I was just 7 years old, probably one of the reasons why it has stuck with me all of this time. Not that I’m scared of it at all, and never have been, but it was one of my favourite films during my youth. I might review it for this site at some point as it has a surprisingly small amount of votes on IMDB.
Whilst some horror films based on creatures can be a bit silly, sometimes they can be most fear inducing because if it’s something that could potentially happen, i/e something that’s realistic, then that is probably the most terrifying aspect of any film.
That being said, the trailer does make this film look a bit silly.
Sydney (Collins Jr) is throwing a high society party with Paul (O’Leary) and Julia (Cook) as the bar staff. Paul spends time getting drunk and high with the various other staff members, all before noticing an unusually large wasp flying around. The wasp is quickly killed by Paul, but another seemingly stings Sydney and soon mutated wasps start invading the area and stinging various others. Whilst trying to escape, Paul encounters a woman that splits in half to reveal a huge wasp inside of her.
Several guests manage to get into the house just in time and they think they are safe, however, it turns out the Sydney’s mother was also stung and splits to reveal a wasp. Sydney himself then soon partially transforms, although he retains full consciousness of what he is doing.
As the evening progresses, numerous members of the group die off until it’s just Paul and Julia left, but how long can Paul survive when he is eventually dragged off to the nest that Sydney’s mother created?
Decent or just another creature flick?
Very much a film in a similar style to films such as Slither, there is an element of people out there who will love this and an equal amount who will hate it. Whilst I don’t fall into the latter category for Stung, I’m nowhere near liking it, that despite a very promising start.
In many ways this is enjoyable and at first I was genuinely surprised that the rating on IMDB was so slow, however, as the film went on I found myself getting less and less interested and whilst it’s not an awful film by any stretch, it is one that loses a lot of momentum.
There are a few reasons for this and unusually for me I’m going to start with the negatives.
Let’s start with the antagonist of the film, Sydney. From the very first time you meet this character you know that there is something really strange about him and he couldn’t have been a more obvious antagonist (even though he wasn’t initially seen as one) unless he wore a “I’m this movie’s bad guy!” Whilst having a good guy turning into a bad guy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you have to really make the character interesting in the first place.
Sydney is just a bland character in a film that already struggles to make it’s characters, even the two main protagonists, that interesting, and ultimately he is a poor antagonist. The character development in the film is so poor and by the end they are really struggling to make you care about any of their struggles.
Unfortunately the characters just aren’t interesting and even now I am not sure what Lance Henrikson was in the film for, his character is so unnoteworthy that it makes you wonder if he just agreed to do the film as a favour, and indeed if he was just included to give the film a very stretched bit of star power.
That being said, there are some moments that I genuinely enjoyed during Stung.
The length is pretty much spot on and the film just seems to flow by, going very quickly. The good thing about these sorts of films is that you can walk away from your laptop/TV/whatever for a few minutes, come back and be caught up within a few seconds. You can’t do that with a lot of films, hell, imagine trying to do that in your first time watching Inception.
It flows very smoothly throughout and very little feels forced or like an unnatural progression, and this is in no small part to humourous and often sarcastic, for example, below is one bit of dialogue that is so simple and yet tells you everything that you need to know about the early relationship between Paul and Julia.
Paul is in the middle of trying to flirt with Julia and this happens;
Paul : I know a joke!
Julia : Good for you!
It’s so simple and yet so effective. The dialogue is comfortably the best aspect of the film and if there was one major positive to take out of it, it’s that.
Other than that though, whilst it flows and has decent dialogue, there isn’t really a lot to get excited about with Stung, it’s just kinda there. It’s not awful, it’s not great, it’s just kind of in the middle and it’s a bit of a movie with with the noise “meh” could apply.
A film that tries hard and has amusing dialogue, but unfortunately offers precisely nothing new to the genre and that’s probably it’s biggest flaw. It’s completely unoriginal and goes back to the proverbial well far too often to be enjoyed thorough.
Whilst not an awful film and being generally watchable, it’s one of those films that you will watch and then never have the urge to watch it again.
If you have a spare 80odd minutes then you could do a lot worse than watching Stung, but then again you could do a lot, lot better.