Brandi Boski’s (played the criminally underrated Mena Suvari) life is headed in the right direction. She has a job at a nursing home that she is extremely good at. So good in fact, she is being promoted. She has a cool drug dealer boyfriend Rashid (played by Russell Hornsby) who not only appears to be a good bf, but also a good source of ecstasy ( or X for those in the know.)
Thomas Bardo (played by Stepen Rae), on the other hand, is falling apart at the seams. Laid off from his job and searching for a new one, he is evicted on the spot by his dickhead landlord, and is now homeless.
Brandi decides to celebrate at a club, and after getting drunk and high on X, she drives home, and in typical drugged up girl fashion, pays more attention to her shitty phone than the road. Thomas is crossing a street, with his newly acquired shopping cart for his belongings, and is hit by Brandi, which sends him into her windshield. She manages to get home with Thomas still stuck in her windshield. The rest you’ll have to see for yourself.
Stuck, directed by genre legend Stuart Gordon, who’s claim to fame is his many film adaptations of some of H.P. Lovecrafts greatest works like From Beyond and Dagon, leads us down a path of moral ambiguity and conundrum. His camera is educated, but never too flashy. The reason being is he has an embarrassingly strong cast to drive his movie forward, with the likes of Mena Suvari (again, criminally underrated), Stephen Rea of V for Vendetta fame (among tons of other movies he’s done), and Russell Hornsby, who’s one of those actors that when you see him, you will point to the screen and so “Look, it’s THAT guy. He’s in a ton of shit and is always really good!”
And boy oh boy, is it a good thing that the actors are strong, because this isn’t a special effects laden piece, as one could come to expect from Stuart Gordon. There’s no demons at play, no mad scientists who create zombies or monsters, no portals to other worlds or other craziness going on. There is just the dilemma at hand, and the will (and lack there of) to do the right thing.
Stuck isn’t completely devoid of violence, and in typical Gordon style, when it hits, he leaves nothing to the imagination. Gorehounds and creature-feature fans will be sorely disappointed by the lack of killing and splatter, but one thing you have to realize before watching this flick is it’s not about that. This is horror of the mind and the conscious. This is something bad happening to someone by virtue of their own actions they thought would never come back to haunt them or hurt others. To me, this type of genre film can be very effective, by not only reminding us of our own mortality and fragility, but also instilling the idea of luck just fucking us over once in a while.
The last thing I’ll comment on is the ending. As any dedicated Midnight Showing reader will probably know, I often complain that even movies I like, just seem to slap on some sequel ready ending, or just let the thing fall apart until they feel its time to roll the credits, which is usually about 90 minutes in. Not the case with Stuck. It had a definitive, definite ending that is just as tense, satisfying, and refreshing as the first 80 minutes are.
Stuck gets my highest recommendation, as it not only breathes some new life into Stuart Gordon’s directing career by showing another, more reserved, side of his talent, but also into the “What would YOU do” “horror” sub-genre. It’s fast paced, twisty enough to keep your interest, and Mena Suvari gets naked. So there’s always that to entice you into watching.
Get “Stuck” sometime soon.