On her way home from a club, care-worker Brandy hits a homeless man who stepped out in front of her car.
Unable to afford a DUI charge, she panics and flees the scene, with the man still stuck in her wind-shield.
After putting the car away in her garage, the man, still in place, wakes up.
In too deep to simply call for help, she is left trying to find a way to deal with the injured man.
Despite being inspired by a horrific true story, Director, Producer and story developer Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) mines this disturbing tale for dark-comedy gold. Indeed up until the car accident, the movie could just as easily be setting up a rom-com.
We meet Brandy (Mena Suvari – American Beauty), a retirement home carer, as she jumps through hoops for a promotion that doesn’t exist, and down on his luck recently homeless man, Tom (Stephen Rea – The Crying Game) as he battles with the unemployment office’s never ending spiral of bureaucracy. It’s genuinely funny stuff (particularly Toms’ frustrated and fruitless attempts to have a jobs-worth pen pusher acknowledge his existence).
The movie soon takes a spin for the dark, of course, when Brandy hits Tom with her car; but the comedy element doesn’t stop; our first clue that the movie is going to stay funny through the darkness comes when brandy drives past a policeman, who is too busy harassing a bum to acknowledge that said bum is trying to tell him what he just missed.
The balance is good though, with the humour being drawn from the situation, which for all its absurdity is still intense and shocking.
Having lookied into the true story a little, it’s bizarre how closely the first half of the story sticks to the facts; Chante (the real life Brandy) did indeed continue to go to work looking after elderly people while a homeless man bled to death in her garage!
The departure from reality comes when Tom resigns himself to the idea that help isn’t coming and starts trying to escape.
Added to the story for the movie is Brandy’s drug-dealing boyfriend, who gets roped into helping keep the accident (and Tom) quiet.
The title could be interpreted as having a clever duel meaning; obviously Tom is stuck in the windshield, but as the situation worsens, it could be said that Brandy is stuck by the decision she made.
In any case, it’s a thumping good thriller, with excellent make-up effects, and solid acting. Stuck manages to be darkly funny in all the wrong (right?) places, without ever becoming a parody.
Why are you doing this to me?