Director – Benni Diez
Cast – Matt O’Leary, Jessica Cook, Lance Henriksen, Clifton Collins Jr., Cecilia Pillado, Kathleen Renish, David Masterson
Release Year – 2015
Reviewed by John of the Dead
2015 gave us Zombeavers, Sharknado 3, and a number of efforts where man is pitted against nature in a grisly battle for survival. Stung is one of those films, and while these days the majority of them are pretty bad, this one was alright. It won’t win any awards and definitely suffers on its story, but the horror was better than I expected.
For caterers Paul and Julia, a ritzy party on a large countryside estate is nothing out of the ordinary…until a swarm of 7 foot wasps show up and begin laying waste to the guests. Holed up in the family’s mansion with the few remaining survivors, the lowly caterers must take charge if anyone is going to survive the ordeal.
The story begins by taking us into the world Paul and Julia live in. Julia is trying to get her catering business off the ground, and Paul is her loyal assistant. You can tell there is some chemistry between them (of course, love must be thrown in), but for now…it’s all about the business. Writer Adam Aresty ensures you feel the social hierarchy between the caterers and the remaining matriarch of the family estate. This element becomes important later on when, as I mentioned earlier, the two must take control of the situation from the hapless bourgeoisie who cannot save themselves. It takes about 27 minutes before the real horror kicks in. Before this there were some scenes of people being stung by wasps, but at the 27 mark we see what happens after they have been stung…and it’s pretty sweet. Director Benni Diez gives us a full-frontal look at some slick transformations where the stung victim has his/her body transformed into a gigantic wasp. I was glad to see that these scenes were executed with practical effects. There is plenty of CGI in the film, but it is mostly for the flying scenes.
I mentioned earlier that the film suffers a bit from its story. That is because even though it involves my beloved nowhere-to-run scenario, there isn’t enough that happens. Most of the characters are unlikable, and to be honest I only liked Lance Henriksen’s character because…Lance Henriksen. There are plenty of deaths written into the film, which is good, but in the end the flick suffers from a lack of execution. Some scenes are great and many others are basic. In the end, that makes for only a borderline-positive flick at best.
Overall, Stung has a few cool things going for it, like live-action transformations and a horror veteran we will never tire of, but aside from that there isn’t any compelling reason to give this a watch. If anything, it is best served as a beer & wings flick where you know you won’t be paying devout attention.