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Stash (2007)

-Review by Nic Brown


There are two kinds of horror/thriller films. One is the kind that doesn’t have much basis in real life: vampires, zombies, werewolves, and such. While entertaining, these films are clearly fantasy. Then there is the other kind that features real monsters, the human kind. STASH is a film where the monsters in it are all too real.

Jacob Ennis’s STASH follows two low prospect losers named CJ (Nathan Day) and Stan (Stacey Gillespie) who try to steal some pot from their local dealer, Bud. Not the sharpest tacks in the box, the pair are caught red handed by Bud. He contemplates killing them, but decides instead to use them to help satisfy some of his more deviant desires. He tells the pair they have three days to bring him three girls and if they don’t then he’ll kill them.


The film starts with the pair searching for the last of the three victims they must take to Bud. Sarah Conrad (Karen Boles) is driving through rural Kentucky on her way home to see her family during a college break when she has car trouble. CJ and Stan find her and soon she becomes girl number three for Bud’s personal collection.


What makes STASH stand out from other “grind house” style films is the way it blends together the three plotlines that develop. There is Sarah’s ordeal with the all too human monster Bud, her family’s search for her, and CJ and Stan dealing with the consequences of the choice they made: to trade the lives of three innocent young women for their own.


In fact it is the choice made by CJ and Stan that is the most telling one in the film. They know what Bud is doing with the girls, yet they are able to turn off their feelings and find more victims for him. Stan does appear to be on the edge of breaking down and trying to do something to stop it all, but he never quite makes it. Bud; the hulking, brutish, character, who tortures, rapes and kills women, is clearly a monster. However, CJ and Stan, because they have the power to stop Bud but do not are just as bad.


Jacob Ennis the writer and director (along with a number of other credited jobs in the film) brings a gritty bit of terror to the screen with STASH. We’ve all known people like CJ and Stan, devoid of real ambition they do what the must and to get by and no more. STASH paints a grim and violent picture of the darker side of human nature through not only the twisted and evil actions of Bud, but also through CJ and Stan, who aren’t inherently evil, but nonetheless contribute to what Bud does in a way that makes them less than human as well. STASH is not a movie that everyone will enjoy. Violence, rape and torture feature prominently in the film. However, the film doesn’t go over the top with these acts as some genre features tend to. So before you plan your next trip through rural Kentucky, check out Jacob Ennis’s STASH and remember that Ohio is mighty nice this time of year.

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