21 December 2008

Stuck released 9 Jan 2009, Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea

Dir. Stuart Gordon
Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea

Stuck manages to pull off the impressive trick of transforming an interesting and bizarre true event into an unwieldy and above all lame horror movie.

Director Stuart Gordon is best know for the hilarious HP Lovecraft inspired romp Re-Animator, an 80's not-so guilty pleasure of a shocker that more than made up for its lack of psychological terror and cinematic ability with a sense of fun and energy that propelled it on its macabre way. 

Sadly, Stuck has none of this. The story is based upon a Texan woman who struck a man while driving and literally left him stuck in her windshield for days while he slowly bled to death. So, nice stuff and fully deserving of a horror flick makeover. Unfortunately, the limp acting (Suvari and Rea are both decent actors, why they became involved with this wrongheaded project is frankly beyond me) and essentially dumb dialogue hamstrings the film before anything of consequence actually happens. 

When Suvari's retirement home worker (the opening scenes detailing her grim daily life- wiping old men's bottoms, that sort of thing - are probably the scariest things in this movie) hits Rea's newly homeless, down on his luck type fella while high, the scene is set for a tiresome battle of wills. While Rea stays stuck in Suvari's garage hanging on to life by a thread, Suvari takes drugs, has sex and wrestles with her conscious. It becomes clear fairly early on that the filmmakers have no idea what to do with this premise and any interest in whether Rea actually makes it out alive is dispensed with just as quickly.

Impossibly crappy looking cinematography only adds fuel to the general ugliness of the piece. Of course, sleep-walking actors, horrendous dialogue and an incredibly irritating soundtrack don't help too much either. Unsure whether to go for the horror juggler or to play it for misanthropic laughs, Stuck remains, well stuck in meaningless limbo of ineptitude. Avoid like the proverbial. 

Stuck is released 9 Jan 2009