Sting Review


Sting is the latest horror film to hit the cinemas, a creepy creature feature reminiscent of some of the 80s and 90s classics. While it doesn’t quite live up to those classics, it’s still a surprisingly fun and gory tale.

The film opens in an apartment building in the middle of winter, with an old woman (Noni Hazlehurst) contacting an exterminator, Frank (Jermaine Fowler) to help with a loud noise coming from the walls. Unfortunately, Frank comes face to face with more than he bargained for and is soon attacked and dragged bloody and injured into a duct in the walls.

A few days earlier, we see a small, ping-pong ball-sized asteroid crash land into a doll’s house in one of the apartments in the building, hatching into a black spider with a red marking on its back. Charlotte (Alyla Browne) is exploring the building via the air ducts when she comes across the spider, capturing it in a jar and taking it back to her own apartment, which she shares with her stepfather Ethan (Ryan Corr), mum Heather (Penelope Mitchell) and half-brother baby Liam.

Sting Review

Naming the spider Sting, Charlotte begins to feed it bugs and soon notices its intelligence and that through feeding it is growing at an alarming rate. While she keeps it contained in a jar, unbeknownst to Charlotte, Sting can escape his confines and begins to attack and kill some of the building’s pets and residents.

With Sting growing too quickly, Charlotte reaches out to a neighbour who owns fish to house Sting in one of his spare tanks. After he does so, Sting escapes its tank and begins to attack and trap all of the building’s residents, either killing and eating them or cocooning them in the ducts to return to later. It isn’t long before Sting comes for Charlotte’s family and she’s forced to fight back against her pet to save them.

I love a good creature feature, especially the old 80s and 90s classics, and Sting really hits the mark in this respect. It’s very reminiscent of the likes of Critters, Gremlins, and there are even parts of this that reminded me of Aliens which is no mean feat. It’s a very fun horror that unlike other modern horrors, doesn’t go too overboard on the clichéd and predictable jump scares, instead focusing on some impressive physical effects and a lot of blood and gore.

Sting Review

As a creature, Sting looks incredible and this probably shouldn’t be a surprise as Weta Workshop were responsible. I’ve always been an advocate of physical effects over CGI and Sting is a perfect example of just how well this can work. My only criticism is that the spider itself looks far too similar to a black widow, and I feel like they’ve missed a trick in designing something a little more original-looking.

The performances here are pretty good and Alyla Browne does a great job virtually leading the entire film, proving to be a very strong heroine and leading lady. There are some characters however like Frank the exterminator, who was so much fun yet wasn’t given nearly enough screen time as he deserved. The biggest problem with Sting though is that in the short 92-minute run time, far too much of this is taken up with family drama scenes featuring Charlotte and her family. While some of this is useful back story, the rest just detracts from the main story and lessens the suspense. As a creature feature, it needed less melodrama and more gory spider murders, with a bit of humour thrown in too wouldn’t have gone amiss.

As modern horror films go, I enjoyed Sting a lot more than other recent efforts and it definitely had a lot of promise with its nods to other creature feature classics. However, the focus on melodrama rather than full-on horror really lets it down and stops it from being particularly memorable.

Where to Watch

Sting | May 31, 2024 (United Kingdom) 5.7


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