There's a reason why arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias in the world; spiders are damn creepy. Pair that with the fact that the spider in Sting grows in size by big margins considerably quickly, and you have yourself a film that will strike fear into the hearts of many.

Charlotte (Alyla Browne) is a rebellious 12-year-old girl who finds a tiny spider in her rundown apartment building. She keeps it in a jar, but it soon starts to grow at a monstrous rate and develop an insatiable appetite for blood. As her neighbours begin to disappear, Charlotte and her family find themselves in a desperate fight for their lives against a ravenous arachnid with a taste for human flesh.
Sting makes for a relatively entertaining creature feature, at its best when the titular spider is doing its thing. It feels like a film that tonally doesn't know what it wants to be, either the goofy horror comedy like Gremlins or a deadly serious horror. If it committed to either instead of being a mix of both, it would have fared better in engaging its audience. Not that it isn't watchable, it just doesn't blend either tone that successfully.

The practical effects on show for the spider are mightily impressive, helping the film immerse you in its various scenes of terror. Kiah Roache-Turner knows just how to work the crowd with some sequences of violence and body horror that will have you squirming. From the camera movements to the sound design that bring the extra ick-factor utilised quite smartly. It's one of those films that doesn't overstay its welcome either, a tight ninety-minute runtime moving things along swiftly.
The performances are a bit of a stumbling block for Sting in all honesty. Alyla Browne gives a sterling effort to hold the film together, mostly making it work due to her eagerness to play on the curiousness of her youth. Ryan Corr and Penelope Mitchell play the parents and are rather bad, particularly when sharing the screen together. The fact they're supposed to be a couple is almost laughable seeing as it's almost as if they've never interacted with another human before. Jermaine Fowler steals the show, outside of the spider, with a comical performance as Frank the exterminator - almost channelling John Goodman from Arachnophobia, which is never a bad thing.

Honestly, Sting is well worth watching to see the spider terrorise tenants of an apartment block in varying ways. It's by no means a classic but it's certainly a fun way to spend ninety-minutes at the cinema.

Verdict: ★★½


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