While studying the effects of global warming on a pod of whales, grad students on a crabbing vessel and it's crew uncovers a froze soviet space shuttle, and unintentionally releases a monstrous organism from it
A slacker awakes to find himself weak and wrapped in a webbing; after realizing that the world has been taken over by giant alien insects, he wakes a ragtag group of strangers and together they fight for survival.
Mrs. Perch, an elderly, wealthy lady from rural America, is throwing a fancy garden party at her remote country villa. Same procedure as every year - except this time her illegally imported plant fertilizer seeps into the ground. Subsequently, a local species of killer wasps that usually lay their eggs into other insects mutates into 7 ft tall predators. And the celebrating upper class company provides just the right kind of prey. It's up to Paul and Julia, the two catering staffers, to stop the creatures, fight for their lives, and incidentally getting their stumbling romance in order.Written by
It's difficult to find innovation in the monster movies (or "creature features") because they tend to follow a very simple and predictable formula in which the only surprise (if we are lucky) will be the design and aggressiveness of the creatures stalking the characters. If we only follow that strict criterion, Stung offers impressive practical and digital effects of the giants wasps attacking disposable characters. However, even the best monsters need a firm dramatic basis for the film to resonate on a deeper and more satisfactory level... and that's where Stung fails. The narrative and direction are so listless that they considerably decreased my enthusiasm, not only due to their lack of imagination, but also because the opportunity to create something unique and memorable was wasted. Besides, the performances are quite poor. The most famous member of the cast is Lance Henriksen, who is one of my favorite actors, but his work in this film feels insipid and not very credible; I guess he accepted being part of this movie just for the money. Jessica Cook is antipathetic and not convincing at all in a character built by clichés. And Matt O'Leary is absolutely hateful as the "hero"; I found his performance very irritating, and his character's tentative romance with Cook's doesn't have any credibility due to the complete lack of chemistry between both actors. As for the technical aspects, the cinematography is barely functional and Benni Diez (who made his debut with this film)'s direction lacks of "life"; I think Stung needed a more dynamic and creative director; not necessarily a "visionary", but at least, someone with enough affection for "creature features" in order to recognize and accentuate the pros, instead of exacerbating the limitations. And I don't know whether this can be considered a con, but Stung is clearly a European film (German, to be precise) which tries to look North American, without completely achieving it. I understand the commercial reason of that strategy, but the film's lack of personality might have been solved if it had completely embraced its national identity, instead of pretending to be something it isn't (as good examples, I can mention the Swedish film Wither and the Norwegian Dead Snow... both would have lost big part of their charm if they had denied the idiosyncrasy of their origin). However, as someone who has watched "creature feature" since the childhood, I was kept moderately entertained by watching huge wasps attacking an elegant party. I know that not every spectator will feel the same affection for monsters and creatures defying the laws of nature, but I can give Stung a slight recommendation to those people who have that fetish (like me). If everything else had been as good as that, we would have been in presence of a memorable film; unfortunately, it couldn't be more than a moderately entertaining, but mediocre one, specially due to the insipid direction. But, well... not everyone can be Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi on their debut.
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