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By Josiah Teal | April 17, 2024

Referred to as “more than a creature feature” in the press materials, Sting is a layered family drama set against the backdrop of a mutant spider horrorshow. Trapped by a massive snowstorm, an elderly apartment tenant calls an exterminator, complaining of noises inside the walls. But the call is too late; the spider has run rampant, turning the complex into an arachnophobic nightmare. Tension rises, terror ensues, an unseen force viciously attacks, and the film cuts to a cheerful, booming opening credits sequence. I’m already sold.

“…a family drama wrapped in the web of 8-legged terror.

Four days earlier, a small meteor crashed into the Earth, landing in an apartment. But the crash was no mere meteor but an egg, producing a tiny, delicate spider. While 12-year-old Charlotte (Alyla Browen) is snooping through apartments when she discovers the spider, claiming it as her pet and christening it with the name “Sting.” Charlotte lives with her Mother (Penelope Mitchell), baby brother, and stepfather, Ethan (Ryan Corr), who also illustrates her up-and-coming graphic novel, “Fang Girl”. Her fascination with Sting continues as the spider grows at an abnormal rate. Everything seems typical around the apartment, but right when Sting threatens to drag, screams erupt from upstairs. Charlotte defends Sting, but Ethan and the tenants soon learn the truth; Sting only understands “hunt and kill,” and they are all on the menu.

Alyla Browen perfectly balances creepy and rootable as the rebellious Charlotte. Her chemistry with Ryan Corr is palpable throughout the story, adding layers to the father-daughter bond shared through a love of comics and a fight for survival. Jermaine Flower is charismatic as Frank, the exterminator, adding more than a few laughs to the thrilling web of Sting‘s kill sequences. The performances in Sting all serve the material. It’s pure horror movie fun. Yet the relationships consistently raise the stakes and elevate the film from the “creature feature” label to the kind of thriller that becomes a fan favorite. Watching the movie, you need Charlotte to survive. You need these characters to be alive at the end. It’s one of the rare times you root against the monster, making Sting all the more special.    

Sting (2024)

Directed and Written: Kiah Roache-Turner

Starring: Alya Browne, Penelope Mitchell, Ryan Corr, Jermaine Fowler, Silvia Colloca, Noni Hazlehurst, etc.

Movie score: 9.5/10

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"…will have you excited to see it again or screaming "sequel" with all your might. "

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