Parents grieving the loss of their young daughter head to the deep desert for a healing ritual, where they unexpectedly release sinister forces.
There are times when a film suffers from its own ambition when the people behind the project simply aim too high. In the world of low budget film making it is essential to work within your limits and for a director to extract the best from his cast and crew. Sadly for Stitch too much reliance of poor CGI and disappointing performances from actors struggling with an occasionally preposterous script have ultimately ruined what could have been an interesting film.
Marsden (Edward Furlong) and Serafina (Shawna Waldron) are a young couple finding it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the tragic loss of their daughter Lilly (Tiffany Martin). In a final attempt to move on with their marriage they have hired a remote house deep in the desert with another couple Pirino (Lawrence Mason) and Colline (Shirly Brenner). The main reason for the trip is to perform a healing ritual instigated by spiritualist Pirino but as time passes and secrets emerge it becomes clear that there are forces at work in the house that they couldn’t possibly have foreseen.
The main problem with Stitch is that from the outset the film is as disappointing as it is ambitious. There are long, amateurish scenes of CGI landscapes and attempts at atmosphere that just appear too obviously fake. Visually it as if the director Ajai, who is taking on a multitude of roles in his debut film, has just had too many ideas and unfortunately has neither the budget nor the experience to be able to pull any of them off.
There is not one set piece that truly convinces and what remains is a feeling of everything either being a little rushed or just not finished. There are also some very curious leaps in the story that to be successful rely on the viewer to have already been drawn into the tangled narrative and consequently be able to suspend their disbelief at the director’s request. That Stitch just isn’t engaging enough leaves these dream sequences appearing like afterthoughts and add nothing an already confused story.
If the script and the performances from the cast had been good enough then much of the chaotic visuals could have been forgiven but on more than one occasion the dialogue comes across as poorly improvised. In one scene characters can be fighting and at each other’s throats due to some oddly conceived revelation and in the next they can be joining forces and offering themselves as sacrifices to save their comrades.
As far as the story it goes it is confused at best. It never really becomes clear what the disjointed group are actually fighting against. There are nods to the apocalypse, demonic possession and supernatural vengeance but nothing really seems to fit together well. Instead of focussing on one single and well thought out idea there are too many overwrought contrivances that never lead to any satisfactory conclusions and leave the story feeling very episodic.
To wholly criticise Stitch does seem unfair given that there are odd moments of clarity that give hope to the director’s future output. There is without doubt a fertile imagination at work behind the messy exterior and if that can be honed towards one goal then there is reason to optimistic for the future. Perhaps in taking on so many roles Ajai has extended himself far too much and has been unable to self-regulate. Unfortunately though Stitch is a confused, and confusing amalgamation of too many influences that simply doesn’t work.