A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film uses violence, blood, and gore -- along with graphic sex and drug use -- to make the point that, in one character's words, "anybody can do anything to anyone and get away with it." A man is stabbed in the face with a pen, a graphic sexual scene is intercut with scenes of a blood-covered man in excruciating pain, a nursing assistant must clean up the visible excrement of an elderly patient, a dog chews on the bloody leg of an incapacitated but conscious man, and so on. The language is similarly strong, with everything from "f--k" to "bulls--t" used frequently. In other words? Not for kids!
What's the story?
STUCK is director Stuart Gordon's fictionalized version of an actual event that happened when a Texas woman, driving under the influence, hit a pedestrian and sent him flying into her windshield. There he remained -- stuck -- bleeding and in critical condition. Panicked, she drove him to her house instead of the hospital, hiding him in the garage. She proceeded to let him bleed to death, alone and untreated, then tried to cover up the "accident" by enlisting friends to help her drop the body at a local park and set it on fire. In the film, Mena Suvari takes on the role of Brandi, a seemingly compassionate nurse's aid in line for a promotion, and Stephen Rea is Tom, the recently homeless man she strikes down.
Is it any good?
Gordon brings his experience behind the camera on films like Re-Animator to tell this gory, offbeat tale. The movie plays as a series of escalating situations in which simple human decency takes a back seat to every character's self-interest. Brandi, in particular, will go to any lengths to save herself. And Tom, who really needs saving, matches her efforts with his own. As Brandi's behavior gets more and more laughable -- and the blood and gore goes further and further "over-the-top," filling the screen with nightmarish visuals -- Gordon's intent is quite clear. He wants to test his audience's ability to withstand a powerful assault on the senses while driving home his theme of epidemic self-interest.
The performances are excellent throughout, particularly Russell Hornsby as Brandi's lover and reluctant accomplice. If you're looking a splatter movie that's well-made and has a strong message, Stuck delivers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that the movie is "inspired" by a true story. Why do you think the filmmakers decided to make this particular story into a horror film? What were they trying to say about the shameful behavior of most of the characters? Did you ever find yourself laughing at how far Brandi went to save herself? Do you think the filmmakers wanted you to laugh? What audience do you think this movie was made for?
- In theaters: May 30, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: October 14, 2008
- Cast: Mena Suvari, Russell Hornsby, Stephen Rea
- Director: Stuart Gordon
- Studio: THINKFilm
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, disturbing content, sexuality/nudity, language and drug use.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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