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  • Rev Horror

Sting

Dir. Kiah Roache-Turner (2024)

A spider raised by a little girl turns into a giant, flesh-eating monster.


I've never been particularly scared of spiders. Tornadoes are absolutely terrifying, and bees can fuck all the way off. But spiders are our fuzzy little friends, architects of nature that prevent all of the more irritating insects from ruining our day by catching them and sucking their liquified insides out. Ok, when I put it that way, I can understand why people would have a problem with them, even if I don't particularly mind our arachnid friends. Despite being an incredibly common species, however, arachnids have an otherworldly, alien look to them, lending to a healthy fear of the insects and to their fairly common usage in horror films. It's also a perfect segue into our film for today.

When an adventurous (and creepy) little girl named Charlotte (Alyla Brown) decides to raise a spider that she finds as her own, things begin to go poorly very shortly thereafter. This is probably because her new spider buddy came to earth on an asteroid that crashed into her Brooklyn apartment complex and is, like, super fucking smart. It certainly doesn't help matters that the spider grows at an exponential rate, or that it enjoys eating the flesh of her fellow humans. Her father Ethan (Ryan Corr), an aspiring comic book artist who currently serves as their tenement's handyman, is falling apart as quickly as the situation, and when the spider takes over the building, it's up to Ethan and his daughter to save the day.

Super stylized and with a great blend of humor to go along with the eight-legged horror, Sting feels like an 80's throwback with a hyper-modern technique. It's charming despite its horrific plot, feeling almost whimsical in its mannerisms. It feels like a modern Gremlins, a creature feature that has all the hallmarks of a movie aimed at children while having enough scares to make the adults happy as well. Alyla Brown delivers a star-making turn, a performance that is reminiscent of films like Ghost World or the earlier roles of Abigail Breslin. Sting is a movie that depends almost entirely on her performance, and she knocks it out of the park. It's also filled with some gnarly effects, and it's a lot more brutal than most films that are as lighthearted as this one often is.

With an Alien aesthetic and a mean streak that respects neither children nor animals, Sting is way better than it has any right to be and is a hell of a lot of fun. It's violent, creepy, and has some truly excellent performances from its stars. For a movie that seemed to fly so far under the radar that most folks completely forgot about it, this is one that's going to gain a lot of fans... when they finally get around to watching it. Half science fiction, half horror, and whole icky, Sting is definitely one you shouldn't continue to sleep on.


Who this movie is for: Creature feature fans, Sci-fi horror lovers,


Bottom line: A spider movie that goes a lot deeper than that, Sting is a heartwarming tale of a girl and her pet, if said pet enjoyed eating people and pets alike. It's funny, gory, and exceptionally well done. Alyla Brown and Ryan Corr both are stellar in their roles, and this is a film that deserves a hell of a lot more attention than it has received. If you get the chance to watch this one, do so immediately.


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