Dir. Benni Diez
Exploitation horror is fun. Stung isn’t. It’s about as fun as being stung yourself. Its postmodern take on exploitation is not much to be desired with the wit of a thousand punches to the face. An hour goes by with zero care towards the characters nor their future. Although many will argue that you are purposefully not to care about the characters in exploitation slashers, but they are barely distinguishable from one another. Characters are fodder that are fed to the assigned beats to die in various ways, but are rarely entertaining.
What does look good is the make-up effects, that’s where the director really hits the notes. The gruesomeness of several scenes curdle anything in your stomach in the best way. When it moves into CGI though, the entire loss of budget is apparent. Again, this new found love of exploitation horrors being made with poor effects to emphasise their restrictive budgets rarely are as fun as their B-movies influence.
To be as witty as the film, Stung just Stungk.
Dir. Dominic Brunt
Dominic Brunt’s thriller-horror establishes its characters fantastically and takes them on an unenviable journey through the all-too-real world of debt. In this world, the lead characters are in debt to a villainous loan shark who chews up the scene and spits out venomous menace in each he is in. Debt, an abstract concept, is made real through by personified violence through Jonathan Slinger’s menacing character.
The film is a thrill-ride through and through with a few questionable decisions by the leads overshadowed mostly by fear, adrenaline and real consequences to actions. Female characters are actually crafted to be a rare thing in a horror film: genuine people. This hell is all too real and although there are weak moments, they far overpowered with thrills, genuine terror and some New French Extremism style violence that is reminiscent of Inside.
Some Kind of Hate (2015)
Dir. Adam Egypt Mortimer
Where do slashers now go after Craven’s creation and recreation of the rules? Some Kind of Hate creates a memorable villain yet sadly does not capitalise on its potential. Like Freddy Krueger invaded your dreams, Moira is the vengeance of a bullied teenager that cannot stop getting revenge even on those who were not at all involved with the original incident.
The film’s biggest indiscretion is the fact its lead looks about 35 years old. Ronen Rubenstein who plays Lincoln is a 21 year-old, but his mature looks counter his character’s supposed immaturity at 17 or 18. Some Kind of Hate’s biggest problem is that Moira has the potential to be a terrifying, inescapable villain and for some reason that is never actualised.