"Sting" is an inventively goopy and gross creature feature

Sting (2024)

Spiders-run-amok movies are either creepy ("Arachnophobia") or knowingly cheesy ("Eight Legged Freaks," "Big Ass Spider!"). Aussie writer-director Kiah Roache-Turner’s "Sting" falls somewhere in between but more so the former, resulting in a skillfully made creature feature that will certainly give easily squeamish audiences the willies. It’s expertly paced, inventively goopy and gross.

There’s a bad winter storm in New York City, but something inside a South Brooklyn apartment building with eight legs is much, much worse. Adventuring in the ventilation system, a 12-year-old girl (Alyla Browne), deliberately named Charlotte, discovers a spider that lands in an egg from an alien planet. She thinks her new pet is so cool, learning it has a “feeding whistle” and the ability to mimic other noises, and names it Sting. Her mother, Heather (Penelope Mitchell), is always on work calls, and her stepdad, Ethan (Ryan Corr), works tirelessly as a comic-book artist and lets her come up with ideas when he isn’t playing handyman for the building owned by a slumlord, Heather’s evil Aunt Gunter (a delightfully nasty Robyn Nevin). Heather’s Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, Helga (Noni Hazlehurst), is also a tenant in the building, always calling the exterminator (Jermaine Fowler). Unaware of just how dangerous her secret pet can be, Charlotte eventually can’t keep a leash on Sting, which increases in size and starts making the neighbors disappear. 

Following a very stylish title sequence in a dollhouse, Kiah Roache-Turner (who previously made the metal zombie flicks, "Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead" and "Wyrmwood: Apocalypse") knows exactly what kind of movie he is making: not a SyFy Original, but a monster movie that knows when to hold its tongue in cheek. For instance, mothballs and garbage compactors cleverly become our characters’ only hope. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: B

Well Go USA released "Sting" (91 min.) in theaters on April 12, 2024.