Sting: Review

Sting: Review

Sting: Review. By Daniel Rester.  

Sting is a goofy, gooey giant spider film from Kiah Roache-Turner, the director behind the Wyrmwood zombie flicks. It takes place in a city apartment building during a massive snowstorm. The residents of the building have more worries than the cold outside once an alien egg from space crashes into the building. 

Alyla Browne plays Charlotte, a frustrated young girl who tries to connect with her stepfather, Ethan (Ryan Corr). The two bond over comicbooks, but they often have conflicting ideas. Charlotte wishes Ethan would take her thoughts on his comic series “Fang Girl” more seriously. 

Charlotte gains an unlikely pet in a spider that hatches from the aforementioned egg. Soon the strange arachnid (which can whistle and mimic animals) gets loose and starts feeding on anything and everything alive, which causes it to grow rapidly. Ethan, Charlotte, and others must fight for their lives in order to survive against the spider after it grows to the size of a German Shepherd. 

Roache-Turner’s film, which he also wrote, greatly benefits from a strong performance by Browne and clever camerawork by cinematographer Brad Shield. Browne’s believable performance as Charlotte helps ground Sting, even as others around her turn into caricatures (Jermaine Fowler, for example, is completely over-the-top as an exterminator named Frank). Shield, meanwhile, uses quite a variety of smooth shots in depicting the spider horror. His use of lighting and patient movements definitely assists Roache-Turner in giving Sting atmosphere. 

The effects here are pretty good too. They are most effective in a scene where the spider crawls into someone’s mouth and tears her insides up. It’s one of the more memorable bits of terror in the film. Sometimes the creature looks too glossy and CGI-heavy, but for the most part it is creepy in design. 

Sting has moments of dopey humor and family drama that fall flat. Some of the dialogue lands with a thud as Roache-Turner strains to make many of the supporting characters quirky. Charlotte, Ethan, and a baby are pretty much the only people I cared about and didn’t want to get eaten. The others are mostly annoying and expendable. 

Sting works best in its final thirty minutes when it starts to feel like Alien (1979) in an apartment building. The hour leading up to that section can be tedious at times. Even so, Sting is much better than most modern spider horror films overall. 

Rating: 6/10

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