Shadow
Sting
Has a rather basic single-location narrative, but the spider kills are incredibly icky and not for the squeamish.

Sting

Release Date: April 12, 2024
Runtime: 01:31
Synopsis:
After raising an unnervingly talented spider in secret, 12-year-old Charlotte must face the facts about her pet-and fight for her family’s survival-when the once-charming creature rapidly transforms into a giant, flesh-eating monster.

A 12-year-old girl's pet spider rapidly transforms into a giant flesh-eating monster in . Charlotte () is a rebellious 12-year-old living in a New York City apartment complex with her mother Heather (), stepfather Ethan (), and baby brother Liam. Ethan has trouble connecting with Charlotte, save for the comic book they created together. While sneaking around the apartment of her grandmother Helga () and great-aunt Gunter (), Charlotte finds a spider that emerged from an egg that fell from the sky and through the window. Charlotte decides to keep the spider as a pet and names it Sting, however, she soon begins to notice that her new pet grows at an alarming rate.

Sting Synopsis

Sting is a creature horror film written and directed by Australian filmmaker Kiah Roache-Turner (Wyrmwood, Nektrotronic). Set entirely within a snowbound New York City apartment complex, the film opens with the dementia-suffering Helga calling exterminator Frank () to deal with a noise in the walls, only for him to be attacked by a giant spider. The plot rewinds to four days earlier when the spider Sting seemingly arrives from outer space and is adopted as a pet by the 12-year-old protagonist Charlotte.

Charlotte has a lukewarm relationship with her stepfather Ethan, who is dealing with the stresses of being the apartment complex's building supervisor, while also trying to meet his deadlines as a comic book artist. Because she feels like an outcast due to all her family's attention going to her baby brother Liam, Charlotte finds a connection with her new pet spider Sting. However, Sting starts growing bigger the more it eats and during the night, the spider sneaks off through the vents to find new victims to eat.

My Thoughts on Sting

For his fourth feature film, writer and director Kiah Roache-Turner tackles his fear of spiders with this single-location horror film featuring creature effects by the WETA Workshop. There has been no shortage of killer spider films over the years, with some examples being 1990's Arachnophobia, 2002's Eight Legged Freaks, and 2013's Big Ass Spider!. In fact, Sting is only the first spider-centric horror film to be released this month, with the French horror film Infested scheduled to release in a few weeks.

The plot of Sting ends up being relatively basic, with there being only a handful of supporting characters in the single apartment complex location, most of whom end up being spider victims. That said, the surprisingly gory spider kills are quite icky to watch and are not for the squeamish. The film is also not recommended for animal lovers as many pets are included in the film's body count.

Sting is arguably the most straight horror film Kiah Roache-Turner has directed, missing much of the tongue-in-cheek dark humour present within Wyrmwood and Nekrotronic. However, the film does feature comic relief in the form of Jermaine Fowler (Sorry to Bother You, Coming 2 America) as the exterminator Frank. The film's opening scene of Frank answering a call from Helga would also make a fine standalone short film.

While Sting probably doesn't deliver the same level of entertainment that Wyrmwood did a decade ago, the film still ends up being a solid creature horror film.

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Trailer for Sting

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How to Watch Sting

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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