Directed by Sheldon Wilson [Other horror films: Shallow Ground (2004), Kaw (2007), Screamers: The Hunting (2009), Carny (2009), Mothman (2010), Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010), Killer Mountain (2011), Scarecrow (2013), Shark Killer (2015), The Unspoken (2015), The Hollow (2015), The Night Before Halloween (2016), Neverknock (2017), Dead in the Water (2018)]
Generally speaking, this is one of Syfy’s better attempts at an original film. It’s not as fun as previous enjoyable efforts (such as 2010’s House of Bones), but it’s still pretty decent for what they were aiming for.
The story isn’t really dripping in originality, but I do think it was pretty okay for a Syfy production. The “ten years later” epilogue was absolutely horrible, and it’s possible that scene alone lost the movie a whole point, but honestly, I’m hard-pressed to find endings of modern horror films I actually care for to begin with.
The Stickman, a CGI atrocity, isn’t the scariest thing I’ve seen. While the elongated fingers/claws are decently menacing, the creature as a whole is pretty weak. It doesn’t help that every other time it popped up on screen was meant as a jump scare. There were some subtler scenes, sure, but for the most part, just jump scare following jump scare.
Our main actress, Hayley Law, was more-or-less decent throughout the film, though her hysterics at times got a bit much (which can truthfully be said for most of the cast). I expected more out of Zoe De Grand Maison’s character, but the actress herself was fine. Same with Sara Garcia – expected more would come from here as the movie progressed, but we got nothing. Really, though, for a bunch of mostly limited-experienced actresses, I’d say most of these young women did adequate.
Director Sheldon Wilson has directed a handful of movies in the past I’ve enjoyed, such as 2015’s The Unspoken and 2017’s Neverknock. Others, such as 2007’s Kaw, 2009’s Carny, and 2011’s Killer Mountain have been the more generic Syfy fair. The Hollow, from 2015, was downright dreadful.
Stickman isn’t amazing, and the overuse of plenty of horror cliches gets old, but it’s still one of his better attempts, and for a Syfy film, I’d even say it’s worth a watch. Just don’t expect too much.