Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reel Thoughts: Stuck You

If you’re looking for a creepy, affecting suspense movie and The Happening’s just not happening for you (with good reason), check out the tabloid-riffic film Stuck. Based on a real event that occurred in Fort Worth, Texas, Stuck tells the terrible tale of what happens when a basically good but weak-willed woman (Mena Suvari, in scary cornrows) hits a downtrodden homeless man (Stephen Rea of The Crying Game).

Over-the-top horror director Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) follows the trend of David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises) and Wes Craven (Red Eye) in directing more mature projects, while still maintaining his wicked sense of humor.

Suvari plays Brandi, an ambitious working class nursing home attendant. Her nasty supervisor (played by Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, the director’s wife) dangles a promotion in front of her, but when Brandi drunkenly plows into a homeless man named Tom (Rea), she makes a horrible decision. Tom is stuck in her windshield, but rather than call an ambulance, Brandi leaves him in her garage to die, hoping to dispose of his body. Tom comes to, only to realize that he needs to free himself or be killed off.

Stuck’s lurid premise is elevated by its intelligent examination of the various conditions and events that shape each person. Brandi is not evil, but her self-preservation instinct is definitely out of whack. Tom, on the other hand, is the product of our sinking economy, a scary reminder that anyone can become homeless (but hopefully not wedged in some crazy girl’s windshield). Stuck is a well-paced suspense film with depth, disguised as an exploitation flick.

UPDATE: Stuck is now available on DVDfrom

Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

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