Friday, October 28, 2016

Brief Thoughts - STUNG (2015)

The other night I watched another recent horror effort on NetFlix and once again I struck gold! I went in knowing very little about the story other than it surely had something to do with bugs and that is really all you need to know about it as well. Well - I'll give you a bit more information to whet your appetite.

Paul (Matt O'Leary) and Julia (Jessica Cook) are caterers hired to provide food and drink for an afternoon outdoor event at a country estate house. Affairs go well even though Paul's mild clumsiness threatens to derail things at points. But once the sun goes down the guests are suddenly attacked by a swarm of very aggressive insects that begin to do more than just sting the party-goers. Soon the survivors are barricaded inside the mansion fighting off an ever increasing threat of creepy, crawly monsters intent on killing everyone in sight.

STUNG is a great example of smart filmmaking at every level. The script is clever in it's use of the standard monster film structure and is well written enough to give us characters that are relatable without being caricatures or stereotypes. The story is played straight but some solid humor grows out of the personalities of the various individuals. First time feature director Benni Diez handles the story very well getting great performances from the younger cast and giving veteran Lance Henriksen one of the best small roles he's had in a few years. The special effects are very well done with a good combination of impressive, elaborate practical creatures and enhancing CGI blended together incredibly well. This is a great little film that would do well with an appreciative crowd or with a solo viewer looking for a good new find. Highly recommended!

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