I don’t want to be a spoiler, so let’s just say that “Stuck,” directed by Stuart Gordon (“Re-Animator”) and starring sexy Mena Suvari (“Day of The Dead”), shows you some shit you’ve never seen in a movie nor care to -- before the credits have barely ended. It is a shocking, nauseating metaphorical moment, launching this mostly true, contemporary, horror movie based on an unbelievable true story -- in which Brandi, played by Suvari, finds herself in a shit-storm following a car accident.
You may have heard the news story a couple years ago about a woman (a caregiver at a senior citizen home) who struck a man with her car (following a night of Extacy and partying) and then drove home with him ‘stuck’ head first through her windshield. For three days, she left him in her garage, trapped in her windshield, as he slowly and painfully succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile, she had sex with her boyfriend, did drugs and occasionally looked in on her victim in her garage.
Read about the actual story here: CNN.com
Director Gordon explains why he was so drawn to the lead character, and wanted to turn this bizarre news story into a psychological thriller, “She was an ordinary person, not some weirdo monster character, behaving in an incredibly cold and heartless way.”
For the first two thirds of the movie, “Stuck” sticks to the grizzly facts of the true story -- as it needs no embellishing. But then Gordon and screenwriter John Strysik, take literary license, and some needed redemption, to bring this bizarre tale to a befitting violent conclusion.
“We didn’t change much, the first half of the movie is accurate,” adds Gordon, “She actually did go and have sex with her boyfriend immediately after the accident -- that really happened - that was one of the details that jumped out when I was reading about it. But where we diverted from the real story was where Gregory Biggs (the real victim) manages to get himself out of the windshield -- which never happened.”
Stuck is an original, contemporary horror story, which is also a morality play. But what makes it particularly compelling was the blend of humor and horror, something the Stuart Gordon has plenty of experience with his film “Re-Animator.”
“Stuck” has some great gory moments, as the story requires, and his “Re-Animator” fans will relish. But it is not overblown and fits within the confines of the story. And it is very confining story -- with half the movie taking place mostly inside a small garage inside a car.
Mena Suvari plays a wannabe street sister, with cornrow hair and a black ghetto boyfriend played with aplomb by actor Russell Hornsby, who had worked with Stuart Gordon previously in “Edmond.”
Suvari, who loves horror films also, adds, “I was always really interested in psychology, particularly criminal psychology. My father was a psychiatrist and my mom worked as a nurse... so I am really interested in what makes someone snap and really go to that extreme.”
Suvari adds, “I think Brandi is ignorant and afraid to lose everything she has worked really hard for... and she has to justify it. My favorite line in the movie is, ‘Why are you doing this to me?!’ (which she says to the man dying in her windshield).” Suvari adds,” Brandi has to somehow validate it (her actions) to herself.”
Director Gordon had wanted to work with Stephan Rae for years. But Rae’s luck it was finally in Stuck in an extremely challenging part, “It was very hard for him as he would have to go through hours of bloody makeup each day and then spend the rest of the day stuck in the windshield, sometimes getting dizzy. Rae would sometimes say, “Oh no, do I have to go into the windshield again?“ To which Gordon laughingly replied, “What did you think -- we were going to CGI you into it”?
But Gordon was extremely happy with Rae in the role, “He really makes the audience feel his pain.”
What makes all the actors performances so compelling in Stuck is that each character has dueling sides to their personalities, for example:
Mena’s (“Brandi”) character is a sweet caring nurse who evolves into a cold-blooded self-centered villain.
Stephen Rae (“Tom”) is a pathetic, downtrodden loser who lets life bully him until he becomes a courageous lion who fights for survival when faced with his own mortality.
Russell Hornsby (“Rashid”) brilliant plays Brandi’s boyfriend, a rough self-professed street thug, who becomes a wimp as Brandi become more brutal.
Mena Suvari, when asked what her biggest fear was, paused, as she interestingly couldn’t think of anything. But having seen the end of “Stuck” (no spoiler here) I’m not surprised by her answer. She is one fearless actress.
Stuart Gordon when asked the same question, did say he fears one thing...“Death” -- to which Corpsy added, “And bad box office.”
So, go see “Stuck” and drive home safely...we’ve got enough corpses.
We rate “Stuck” Five out of Five corpses