Stonados (2013) Movie Review

Director: Jason Bourque
Writer: Rafael Jordan
Stars: Paul Johansson, Thea Gill, Sebastian Spence
Studio: Arc Entertainment
Run Time: 88 minutes
Reviewer: Horrorphilia Jason


Our story begins as a group of tourists visiting Plymouth Rock witness a sudden waterspout pop up over the ocean. It picks up Plymouth Rock, itself, and deposits it 40 miles away in Cambridge. What is thought to be a freak occurrence is soon proven to be more when a series of spouts begin popping up and disappearing almost as soon as they come. Within two hours, a massive tornado pelts Boston Harbor, and its people, with rocks the size of Mini Coopers.

Meanwhile, a local weatherman joins forces with a science teacher, determined to prove that more of these “stonados” are on the way. As you can imagine, the Federal Oceanic Agency (FOA) is reluctant to believe what the two men are predicting. Thea Gill is Tara of the FOA, or Ms. Laykin as she insists on being called. She’s resistant to the idea that these waterspouts are anything more than a one time deal. That is, until Boston Harbor gets wiped out and a regatta falls under attack.

Now, Plymouth Rock may have been picked up and flung, but that’s not why these are called stonados. Joe (Paul Johansson) and his weekend weatherman buddy (Sebastian Spence) determine that what is happening can be traced back to a volcanic eruption along the coast that has wreaked havoc with the atmosphere. So, these rocks that are being fired at the local citizens are really chunks of ozone that have become surrounded by frozen CO2 (dry ice). That means they are also unstable, so they are prone to blow once they reach the warmer temperatures of the lower atmosphere. That’s right. That means that these tornadoes aren’t just throwing rocks. They are throwing frozen rock bombs. So, even if you are lucky enough for the onslaught to miss you on the first go around, you’d better still take cover.

The effects in this film aren’t bad, even for a SyFy film. I’ve seen worse, for sure. As as I tend to enjoy natural disaster films, I was looking forward to seeing what they could do with this one. Director Jason Bourque has given us a solid flick with plenty of destruction. I would be remiss if I failed to mention just how much fun I had watching the populace get smacked with flying boulders, hitting the ground, or even being smashed into walls. There is no blood or gore, but it’s not really necessary. Even then, though, it may leave you twisting in the wind.

My complaints come when I begin to think about the characters and their reactions. Everyone in this film plays it as if they are trying not to wake a cranky uncle; they’re subdued. I just feel that if you and your town were being pelted with giant, exploding stones, you’d likely be excited about it. And I seriously doubt there would be time for bad jokes.

And then there’s the resolution. Our heroes, former storm chasers, determine that the best possible chance we have to reverse the effects and cease the stonades would be to fire a five ton warhead into the supercell, thereby dispersing the ozone, and Rockabye Baby. That’s all okay. I can accept a lot when it comes to movies. My belief isn’t so difficult to suspend. But I do have a problem when Joe’s two teenage kids decide they’re going with him to do this and he says, “okay, we’ll do it as a family.” No way, Stonados. No way.

All in all, you could do worse with your time. But, if disaster movies are your thing, and you are looking for something akin to the “finger of God,” I’d take shelter from Stonados. Its biggest crime is that it’s a stone’s throw away from knocking you out, with boredom. Everybody mustn’t get stoned.