I love a good scary movie and I shriek at the first sight of any bug that bites or stings. So when I was given the opportunity to review STUNG you can only imagine the war of conflicting emotions that made a horror film that genuinely terrified me appealing.Instead of the ache in my throat from holding back screams and a nearly incurable case of the ‘creepy crawlies’, I was distracted the entire film by the pile of questions I wanted to ask and the questions did not stop coming until the credits rolled the last one being…
Did I really just watch that?
Yes you just spent the last 90 minutes watching JULIE: the uptight small catering business owner whose father may have passed away but there is no sure-fire way to know because while her father is mentioned many times there are no other details and PAUL: the careless bartender man-child who has no other purpose in this movie than to be the “heroic” love interest to Julie. The “budding romance” between Julie and Paul is ABYSMAL. Almost every side character that comes in contact with them either comments on how attractive either Julie or Paul are or they are pushing them together and of course uptight Julie refuses vehemently until the horde of party guests turned into 7 foot mutant wasps bring them to the start of their mutual romance, under a dining room table, with a question from Paul…
“Do you like to make out?”
**Insert straight face emoji here**
After the initial shock of seeing 7 foot mutant killer wasps burst from several unsuspecting party guests at Mrs. Perch’s posh garden party the effects used to create the stinging beasts became really disappointing. The dark lighting paired with the black exoskeletons made it hard to see them or their movements so instead of invoking suspense there was just plenty of confusion. For the most part the holes they make in walls and people were more terrifying than the actual poorly choreographed wasps the size of Gandalf.
There were many moments in this film I would deem unnecessary such as the poster shot of the small mutated wasp about to sting a woman in the eye. This moment had a close up just for the woman to squish it and cry. Another unnecessary part in this movie is the sub-plot where Sydney, son of Mrs. Perch, becomes a minion to the wasps after explaining to everyone that the wasps are a result of his mother’s illegal imported fertilizer which he added growth hormones to. He developed some type of communication with them through his mother turned wasp and the entire time there is a wasp forming on his shoulder that has not overgrown and killed him for some unknown reason.
Paul is captured by Sydney after being stung completely through the chest and the wasp that Sydney refers to as mother tries to feed Paul the world’s biggest maggot and use him as an incubator for her spawn . This sub-plot ends quickly with Julie unsurprisingly shoving a saw through Sydney’s chest and saving Paul from Mrs. Perch wasp edition. My list of unnecessary moments ends with the Paul and Julie in the back of an ambulance feeling so much relief at being alive that they begin ripping each others clothes off with many potential spectators around. The happy moment is eventually ruined by the paramedic that unrealistically tried to shut the doors the ambulance and give Julie and Paul privacy is crushed to death by a cow’s head introducing a new hybrid of killer wasp cows.
STUNG is an incomplete thought. A typical incomplete thought like when you’re sending a text message and accidentally hit send half-way through. There were too many holes left in the script and spontaneous bouts of character development that take away from the film’s purpose to temporarily horrify and to entertain.
MUSIC. BALANCE, PEACE, TRANSCENDENCE.
K MAAYAN BRICE