Movie Review by Siobahn Harris
Stung is a hard movie to review! It’s a creature feature so you immediately expect a certain level of cheese, gore, bad lines, and sex, but this one was pretty bad. Keeping that in mind, I actually loved it, believe it or not.
The TV-MA rating made me pretty nervous in the beginning. Because I think no good horror movie should be anything less than R. However, I just found out that TV-MA is technically worse than a rating of R. The difference is one is done by the FCC (TV-MA) and the other is done by the MPAA (R rating). TV-MA is the equivalent of an NC-17 rating, which means no children are allowed, which is a rating higher than R. Yay! We’re learning!
Anywhoo, seeing that IFC Midnight made Stung, had me hooked.
Let’s break it down:
The movie begins with two people who are on their way to cater a party. Wait! I already have a problem with this! The two people include the owner of the company and a bar tender. They appear to be going to a large house (there are gardeners about a mile out tending the bushes next to the road) but they only have two people working the job… okay, whatever. On top of that, only six minutes in and Julia, the owner (played by Jessica Cook), has already removed her shirt. I can see where this is headed.
Paul, the bar tender (played by Matt O’Leary), shows us just how weak he is the second we get to the location. The dialog between Julia and Paul makes it seem that they have been working together for a while. Unfortunately, he still doesn’t know how to pick up chairs or set up a table without falling down. Surprisingly, the story doesn’t seem to go as one would predict. Even though Julia already removed her shirt and Paul appears to be weak. There was no nudity (yay!) and Paul was one of my favorite characters. Honestly, outside of Lance Henriksen who plays Caruthers the Mayor, I thought Matt O’Leary was one of the best actors in this movie.
The party kicks off and it turns out to be the dullest party in the world. It came complete with an organist who only seemed to play Wii music. Moreover, everyone at the party started showing their creepy side. There was a old guy hitting on the owner, “I like the way you hold that bottle”. And then there was a married woman hitting on the bartender.
The best part about that party was when the wasps decided to mix things up. After the first person got stung, the party was swarming with millions of giant wasps. Seriously, these wasps were ridiculously huge. I can understand the freak out. However, these people lingered in the swarm of giant wasps! Unfortunately, when these wasps sting a person, that person turns into a humongous wasp. Yay, creature feature!
Once we thinned the herd, the smart people made their way into the house. After that, there was a second thinning of the herd because people in these type of situations like to lie, “No, I wasn’t stung”. In the end, the final three had to figure out a way to get to a vehicle so they could escape, which involved sneaking past giant wasps. Can I call bullshit again?
My bitchy comments may give you the impression that I hated this movie, but I honestly loved it. I thought they brought the perfect amount of cheese and comedy, which is exactly what you want in a creature feature.
It was awesome that the wasps continuously made themselves known from start to finish. Just when you think the characters forgot about them, Paul would react to the sound of one flying around. It was beautiful.
But there were some things that I absolutely hated about this movie. For one, romance. Seriously, we could care less about if Julia and Paul get together. I just wanted to see them running for their lives, I don’t care if they did it while holding hands. I feel like the wasps felt the same way I did because they kept breaking up the almost kiss moments too. Let’s have a moment of silence for those wasps that we lost.
And then there’s Julia. Girl, I hated you the most. I hated the character because she was so dumb and I hated the actress because the lines were delivered so badly. But let’s just focus on Julia and not Jessica, because at least Jessica can perfect her skills as an actress, Julia appears to be lost cause.
In my notes, I started writing “Julia = Dumb” and then I would explain why. Then it changed to “Dumb Julia” and then I would say what she did. It all started with her idea to leave out the back and run away through a field. Baby girl, there were millions of these wasps and you think running away in an open field is the way to go? Go sit in time out!
Then after the group watched as someone inside the house was attacked by a wasp, ten minutes later she looked to the group and said, “They’re inside”… well, duh! Seriously, time out for you! On top of everything, when the others are carrying weapons, a shovel and a fire extinguisher, Julia has a can of bug spray. Not that it would ever work on these bugs but she never even tries to use it. It’s just a random prop that makes her look super dumb.
This movie does make it easy to hate, but when you remember that you are watching a creature feature and that it is supposed to be cheesy, funny, and gross, it makes it so much better. While there isn’t any True Fear, it was a crazy fun watch and I spent a lot of time yelling at my screen. If you have the stomach for an ooey gooey movie that will make you paranoid about every bug bite you ever get, check out Stung on Hulu! Just remember that I warned you about Julia.