Saturday 29 June 2024

REVIEW: Sting (2024 Film) - Starring Ryan Corr, Alyla Browne and Penelope Mitchell


Review by Jon Donnis

"Sting," the 2024 horror film directed and written by Kiah Roache-Turner, presents a chilling tale that taps into our primal arachnid fears. The plot centers on Charlotte, a 12-year-old girl played by Alyla Browne, who discovers a tiny spider from a mysterious glowing object. As the spider, that she names Sting, grows exponentially, the suspense and horror escalate, transforming Charlotte's dilapidated apartment building into a nightmarish trap.

Browne's portrayal of Charlotte stands out, delivering a strong performance that captures the essence of a rebellious yet resourceful child navigating a horrifying situation. The tension between Charlotte and her overworked step-father Ethan, played by Ryan Corr, adds depth to the narrative, though the strained family dynamics sometimes overshadow the central horror elements. Penelope Mitchell as Heather and Noni Hazelhurst as Helga also contribute solid performances, grounding the story in a "believable" familial context.

The visual effects, particularly the design of the spider, are commendable. Sting's transformation from a tiny creature to a monstrous predator is depicted with a level of detail that enhances the creepiness factor, especially during the initial stages where it lurks in unexpected places, triggering real-life arachnophobia from us viewers. These moments are some of the film's most effective, delivering genuine jump scares that will unsettle even the most seasoned horror enthusiasts.

However, "Sting" does have its shortcomings. While it is a decent creature feature, it lacks the lasting impact of classics like "Arachnophobia" (1990) or the entertaining absurdity of "Big Ass Spider" (2013). The film occasionally struggles with tone, missing opportunities to inject humour into its inherently absurd premise. The exterminator character, who provides brief comic relief, is underutilized, and more humour could have elevated the overall experience.

In summary, "Sting" is a decent low-budget horror film suitable for a Saturday night viewing. It's a one-time watch that caters to creature feature fans and those who enjoy a good spider-induced scare. Despite its flaws, the film manages to deliver a few solid thrills and chills. I give "Sting" a safe 7 out of 10.

In UK Cinemas Now!