Friday, October 23, 2015

STUNG (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

STUNG (2015)

Label: Scream Factory I IFC Midnight

Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 87 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1) 
Director: Bennie Diez
Cast: Clifton Collins Jr., Jessica Cook, Lance Henriksen, Matt O'Leary, Adam Aresty


Caterers Paul (Matt O’Leary) and Julia (Jessica Cook) drive through the rural New England countryside on their way to Mrs. Perch's (Eve Slatner) annual garden party, she's a rich old widow who lives in a sprawling Victorian manor with her hunchback son Sydney (Clifton Collins Jr.). Arriving they set-up the catering spread and bar and the party gets underway. In attendance are local faces like Mayor (Lance Henriksen) and a few other guests, many of whom don't survive for long, for soon after the sun sets a deadly mutant breed of wasp crash the party and begin stinging anything that moves. Paul, Julia, the Mayor, Mrs. Perch and her son Syndney make for the safety of the house, but the rest of the party-goers are stung, and these wasps pack quite a punch! Once you are stung a human sized wasp begins to grow within you, tearing away at your skin before bursting through in a grotesque birthing - the special effects are pretty damn good, too. 

Right away this one is several cuts above your typical Syfy creature feature, beginning with a very good cast and some fantastic practical animatronic special effects tastefully combined with digital effects. The characters are interesting - even the ones who aren't around that long get some decent screen time, they're just fun and interesting characters. That the characters are interesting at all already pushes this past the usual crop of bug-horror movies. 

Horror fans will be very pleased with this one, not only are the creature effects pretty great in an old school 80s sort of way but they're gross, with the insect legs emerging from the mouths of the stung, ripping through their faces, the stomach-churning sound of flesh being torn... this is some fun stuff with a lot of gooey stuff. 

I love that they wrangled Lance Henriksen and Clifton Collins Jr. into appearing in the movie, it adds a touch of class to the b-movie creature featured and both look to be having a great time. Henriksen is always a solid addition and Collins is pretty great as the mamas boy who turns into a demented human/wasp hybrid. Our leads Matt O’Leary and Jessica Cook are solid, too. It's fun to see Paul take the abuse from Julia throughout the early part of the movie, he's so in love with her from the very beginning, he will do anything for her, but she comes to realize she has feeling for him, too. 

At under ninety-minutes this one zips along briskly with no time to drag it down, it has a great pace and doesn't overstay its welcome even for a minute. As creature features go this is an engaging slice of bug-horror cinema with just the right out amount of thrills, humor and splatter, plus the added bonus of a fun final scene that made me smile at how ridiculous it was, just tone perfect. If you're into cheesy creature features like Mosquito (1990) or the more recent Infestation (2009) you will have a bug-eyed blast with Stung (2015), this is good stuff all around and a high recommend for horror fans and creature feature aficionados. 3.5/5 

 Special Features:- Audio Commentary With Director Benni Diez, Producer Benjamin Munz, And Writer Adam Aresty
- The Making Of Stung (21 Mins) HD 
- Production Blog Videos (21 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 

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