Sting Review

Growing up in the 80’s on Saturday mornings I remember seeing horror movies with gigantic insects or vermin attacking people. Movies like Ben had me fearing rats. Piranha and Jaws made me not want to go swimming and this one movie about a black mamba called Venom had me scared of vents and enclosed areas. Now and then we get horror movies along those lines but there is something about Sting that took me back to those days. 

Courtesy of Sting movie

Sting not only gives us a great horror movie but also gives a great story about a father trying to connect with his stepdaughter. Ethan, played by Ryan Corr, is a comic book illustrator and appointed maintenance man in a run-down building that does not give him a moment to breathe. It seems that once upon a time, a comic he co-created with his step-daughter Charlotte, played by Alyla Browne, caught major buzz and is still selling well. There is a deadline for the next book but the building’s needs plus an ice storm are not giving Ethan the free time to work on it.

Charlotte is a young girl into her music, crawling around the building vents to entertain herself with the neighbor’s drama, and just keeping to herself. One night during the ice storm an asteroid cluster falls from the sky and one of these goes through the window into the building that Charlotte lives in. From one of the asteroids, a small spider crawls out and Charlotte does what most kids her age do, captures it, decides to keep it as a pet, and names it Sting. 

Now if you are making a connection between Sting and Charlotte’s Web, the similarities end there. This spider does not write encouraging words within their webs and is not as friendly as Charlotte was in the book. Although the spider does mimic the whistle young Charlotte makes, that is about as friendly as we see it in the movie. Once Sting starts outgrowing the jar it is housed in, the horror begins. 

Courtesy of Sting Movie

The spider in the movie was designed by Weta Workshop and the visual effects designer, Richard Taylor, also worked on the Lord of the Rings series. Once it is fully shown on the screen Sting will embed nightmares into your brain due to how terrifying it looks. Like Jaws, we get glimpses of the spider but never see the entire arachnid until the final act of the movie. Just staring at the eyes and the jaws of the spider brings out the ferociousness of this dog-sized predator.  

The final act of the movie is where all hell breaks loose and we see Ethan and Charlotte in action. The film shows us the full strength of the spider and we see what has happened to come of its victims. It was during these moments when my anxiety level started to rise and I thought I knew what would happen next and find out I was wrong. Sting really takes you on a ride here and shows you how much fun it is to scare the audience at the right time. There are some great jump scares throughout the movie but the final moments are just insane. Sting is a great time in the theaters and will leave you scared of spiders for days.

Final Thoughts: Sting is an excellent horror film that brings back the feel of old 80’s oversized monster movies. The tension that is built around the dark corners keeps you on the edge of your seat and it gives the right amount of scares to the viewer. The relationship between Charlotte and Ethan is great to see and relatable to any parent who is trying to connect with their kid. Sting will have you watching your back from spiders long after the movie ends. 

Kid-Friendly: Although the premise seems pretty basic there are some gory scenes in the movie thanks to the R rating. Younger kids, who scare too easily, might not like the jump scares that are in the movie. Older kids might fare better with this movie, but it is ultimately up to you if you think your children can handle this. 

Violence: From the beginning scene we see some of the carnage that this spider can inflict on its victims. While the body count may be low, what does happen to some of the victims is pretty brutal.

One cold, stormy night in New York City, a mysterious object falls from the sky and smashes through the window of a rundown apartment building. It is an egg, and from this egg emerges a strange little spider…

The creature is discovered by Charlotte, a rebellious 12-year-old girl obsessed with comic books. Despite her stepfather Ethan’s best efforts to connect with her through their comic book co-creation Fang Girl, Charlotte feels isolated. Her mother and Ethan are distracted by their new baby and are struggling to cope, leaving Charlotte to bond with the spider. Keeping it as a secret pet, she names it Sting.

As Charlotte’s fascination with Sting increases, so does its size. Growing at a monstrous rate, Sting’s appetite for blood becomes insatiable. Neighbours’ pets start to go missing, and then the neighbours themselves. Soon Charlotte’s family and the eccentric characters of the building realize that they are all trapped, hunted by a ravenous supersized arachnid with a taste for human flesh… and Charlotte is the only one who knows how to stop it.

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