Films with childhood imaginary friends go two ways. They either deal with a child who has one or an adult who had one as a child. When it comes to Mister Sticks, it’s the latter.
The film, written and directed by David Schmidt, stars Grace Hutchings, Peter Ash & Mark E. Penzian and tells the story of Lindsey, who was tormented by a monster in her closet as a child. She thought it was all just her imagination, but now he’s returned. Has he come to remind her of a promise, or is it all in her head?
There’s a tad bit of predictability when it comes to films like Mister Sticks, and it’s job is to make sure it doesn’t get to the point where you know everything. The film goes by the numbers, and does so well enough, without ever elevating its status with sharp twists.
Grace Hutchings is the strongest part, showing off that she is truely frightened about what’s happening around her. The real let down is her male co-stars, Peter Ash, playing the physical form of the titular character, and Mark E. Penzian, voicing him, as they never truely go bizarre. The script never allows them freedom to take it beyond the ordinary. What we get instead is a mismatch of a woman who is truely frightened and a supernatural presence that isn’t frightening.
Mister Sticks is a strange one. There’re good parts and there’re bad parts. As a result, it becomes a small mess that never gets cleaned up.