40 Sticks (Movie)

Title — 40 Sticks
Available on — Netflix
Production Country — Kenya
Release Date — 2019
When their prison bus crashes in a forest on a rainy night, a group of criminals finds themselves battling wild animals and a mysterious killer.

ðŸŠķ Story & Synopsis

“40 Sticks,” a Kenyan-produced thriller directed by Victor Gatonye, takes viewers on a gripping journey with ten hardcore criminals, nine of whom are on death row. The story unfolds as they are being transported from Maza Minimum Prison to Kivu Maximum Prison but get stranded in a wildlife reserve due to a bus crash.

As the group fights for survival and freedom in the unforgiving wilderness, they face not only the challenges posed by wild animals but also a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows. What starts as an attempted escape escalates into a dangerous revenge mission, testing their limits and pushing them to make life-altering decisions.

The pulse-pounding narrative of “40 Sticks” keeps audiences on the edge of their seats as the criminals navigate through a series of harrowing events, showcasing themes of survival, betrayal, and the relentless pursuit of freedom. The film’s intense 90-minute runtime immerses viewers in a high-stakes battle for survival that will have them questioning loyalties and rooting for unexpected heroes.

With a stellar cast including Shiviske Shivisi, Robert Agengo, Mwaura Bilal, and Cajetan Boy among others, “40 Sticks” delivers a thrilling cinematic experience that has captivated audiences since its premiere on Netflix on November 20, 2020. Nominated for the prestigious Kalasha Awards, this Kenyan gem has garnered acclaim for its gripping storyline, compelling performances, and immersive depiction of the human spirit under duress.

Set against the backdrop of Kenya’s diverse landscapes, “40 Sticks” was filmed in various locations in Nairobi over a 16-day shoot in February 2019, adding an authentic touch to the characters’ desperate struggle for survival. The movie’s success on Netflix and its inclusion in the platform’s lineup of Kenyan films alongside titles like “Poacher” and “Sincerely Daisy” solidify its status as a must-watch for fans of mystery and thriller genres.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Robert Agengo, Mwaura Bilal, Andreo Kamau, Cajetan Boy, Arabron Nyyeneque, Shiviske Shivisi, Xavier Ywaya

Actor Role
Shiviske Shivisi Dakari
Robert Agengo Pablo
Mwaura Bilal Biggie
Cajetan Boy Reverend
Andreo Kamau Mustafa
Arabron Nyyneque Amigo
Ywaya Xavier Majuju

💎 Reviews and feedback

Lights, camera, action! Welcome to the thrilling world of “40 Sticks” – a movie that will have you on the edge of your seat faster than you can say “popcorn please!” Picture this: a group of criminals, a crashed prison bus, wild animals, and a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows. Sounds like a recipe for an adrenaline-pumping cinematic experience, doesn’t it?

Let’s dive into this Kenyan horror movie and unravel the mysteries that lie within. From the acting to the plot twists and everything in between, “40 Sticks” promises to deliver an unforgettable ride through the dark and dangerous world of its characters.

Acting and Characters:

The reviews are in, and it seems like the acting in “40 Sticks” ranges from decent to downright impressive. It’s always a delight when actors bring their A-game to the table, making us root for their characters or fear them to our core. The mix of characters portrayed by the cast adds an extra layer of intrigue to the story. Each character brings something unique to the table, creating a diverse ensemble that keeps us guessing at every turn.

Binge-watching Tip: Keep an eye out for subtle nuances in each character’s performance. You might uncover hidden depths that add new dimensions to the story.

Plot and Themes:

Imagine being trapped in a forest on a rainy night with not just wild animals but also a mysterious killer on the loose. The premise of “40 Sticks” sets the stage for intense survival drama where every decision could mean life or death. Themes of redemption, fear, and camaraderie seem to intertwine seamlessly with the plot, keeping viewers hooked till the very end.

Interactive Element: If you enjoyed movies like “The Descent” or “The Ruins,” then “40 Sticks” might just be your next favorite thriller! How do you think this movie compares to other survival horror films?

Direction and Cinematography:

Victor Gatonye takes the helm as director in this heart-pounding journey through darkness and danger. His vision combined with atmospheric cinematography creates an immersive experience that transports viewers into the heart of chaos. The use of lighting and framing adds tension to every scene, making even mundane moments feel suspenseful.

Practical Tip: Watch “40 Sticks” with friends who love a good scare – safety in numbers, right? Just make sure no one jumps out of their seat during those unexpected twists!

Score and Production Design:

A haunting score can elevate a movie from good to unforgettable. In “40 Sticks,” music seems poised to heighten tension and send shivers down your spine at all the right moments. The production design deserves applause for creating an authentic setting that enhances the overall atmosphere of dread and uncertainty.

Binge-watching Tip: Pay attention to how sound effects are used throughout the movie; they might just be key in building up suspense before each chilling reveal!

Special Effects and Editing:

When it comes to survival thrillers, seamless special effects can make or break crucial scenes. From realistic animal encounters to heart-stopping chase sequences, “40 Sticks” promises visual spectacles that keep you glued to your screen. Tight editing ensures that each moment maintains its intensity without dragging on unnecessarily.

Interactive Element: If you were part of this stranded group facing off against wild animals and a killer, what would be your survival strategy? Share your thoughts!

Pace and Dialog:

A well-paced thriller keeps viewers engaged from start to finish without missing a beat. In “40 Sticks,” it seems like adrenaline-fueled sequences are balanced with quieter moments that allow characters’ personalities to shine through dialogues filled with tension and emotion.

Binge-watching Tip: Embrace those nail-biting moments by immersing yourself fully in each character’s journey; you might just find yourself rooting for unexpected heroes along the way!

In conclusion, “40 Sticks” weaves together elements of fear, survival, and mystery into a tapestry that grips your attention till its heart-pounding conclusion. With solid acting performances, atmospheric direction, and pulse-pounding thrills around every corner, this Kenyan thriller is sure…
Now grab some popcorn (and maybe a security blanket) as you venture into…

Rating: 8/10

Remember – In the world of cinema magic like this doesn’t grow on trees… but if it did – it would probably involve 40 sticks!

Pros Cons
Decent to very good acting Some acting performances were inconsistent
Interesting mix of characters Plot may be predictable
Thrilling premise of battling wild animals and a mysterious killer Character development could be lacking
Engaging storyline set in a crashed prison bus Some scenes may lack tension or suspense


  • 40 Sticks (2020) - IMDb

    SPONSOREDA group of prisoners trapped in a crashed prison bus strive to stay alive when they realize there is a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows.A group of prisoners trapped in a crashed prison bus strive to stay alive when they realize there is a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows.A group of prisoners trapped in a crashed prison bus strive to stay alive when they realize there is a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows.

    • Awards
      • 6 wins & 11 nominations



    SPONSOREDVarees Marko Aura Lukyamuzzi

  • 40 Sticks - Wikipedia

    40 Sticksis a 2020 Kenyan thriller film produced by SensePLAY, a Kenyan audio-visual production house, an arm of Password Ventures Ltd. It premiered on Netflix on November 20, 2020, showing in Africa, US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.40 Sticksis the fourth Kenyan film to premiere on Netflix in 2020, afterPoacher, Sincerely DaisyandDisconnect. The story was created by Frank G. Maina, and written together with Voline Ogutu, and directed by Victor Gatonye.

  • 40 Sticks streaming: where to watch movie online? - JustWatch

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    FiltersStreaming in:Something wrong? Let us know!Currently you are able to watch “40 Sticks” streaming on Netflix, Netflix basic with Ads.The JustWatch Daily Streaming Charts are calculated by user activity within the last 24 hours. This includes clicking on a streaming offer, adding a title to a watchlist, and marking a title as ‘seen’. This includes data from ~1.3 million movie & TV show fans per day.

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  • 40 Sticks (2020) | Official Trailer | #Kenya - YouTube

⚠ïļ Explanation (Spoiler)

In the Kenyan thriller film “40 Sticks,” directed by Victor Gatonye and released in 2020, viewers are taken on a suspenseful journey filled with twists and turns. The plot centers around a group of death row prisoners who find themselves in a dire situation after a prison bus crash. As they struggle to survive in the wilderness, they face not only the challenges of nature but also the threat of a mysterious killer lurking in the shadows.

The story, crafted by Frank G. Maina and Voline Ogutu, keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as the prisoners fight for their lives amidst the dangers surrounding them. The tension builds as they try to unravel the mystery of their predicament while facing imminent danger at every turn.

The ensemble cast, including actors like Robert Agengo, Mwaura Bilal, and Shiviske Shivisi, delivers compelling performances that bring the characters to life. Each actor skillfully portrays the desperation and fear of their respective roles, drawing the audience deeper into the harrowing tale of survival and suspense.

Throughout the film, viewers are kept guessing about the ultimate fate of the prisoners and the true nature of the threats they face. The intricate storytelling and atmospheric setting create a sense of unease and anticipation, making “40 Sticks” a gripping cinematic experience from start to finish.

As the story unfolds, the tension mounts, leading to a climactic ending that leaves audiences shocked and intrigued. Without giving away too much, it’s revealed that all the prisoners meet a mysterious and grim fate, adding a chilling twist to the narrative.

With its expert direction, engaging performances, and suspenseful plot, “40 Sticks” offers a thrilling cinematic experience that keeps viewers captivated until the very end. The film’s unique premise, combined with its talented cast and skilled execution, makes it a standout entry in the realm of Kenyan cinema and a must-watch for fans of the thriller genre.

👊 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

The movie “40 Sticks” has been rated as 16+ for mature audiences.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “40 Sticks” is a Kenyan thriller film that contains intense scenes and themes that may not be suitable for viewers under the age of 16. Here is a breakdown of the content:

  • Sex & Nudity: There are no explicit sexual scenes or nudity in the movie. Some mild romantic interactions may be present.
  • Violence & Gore: The film features intense scenes of violence, including fights, injuries, and characters being in perilous situations. While there is no excessive gore, the overall tone is suspenseful and may be disturbing for younger viewers.
  • Profanity: Moderate profanity is used throughout the movie, including swear words and vulgar language.
  • Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking: There are no significant scenes depicting alcohol, drugs, or smoking in the film.
  • Frightening & Intense Scenes: The movie contains suspenseful and intense scenes, as the characters are trapped in a forest and must confront a mysterious killer. The atmosphere is tense and may be frightening for some viewers.

Overall, parents are advised to consider the mature themes and intense content of “40 Sticks” when deciding if it is appropriate for their teenagers aged 16 and above.

📚 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix You can watch 40 Sticks on Netflix with a subscription.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • Their daughter told my son that he looked like Tom Petty and in a negative way.
  • Why do we fight?
  • We're going to blink and be 90. We have to make a choice to do things different. I've made a list. It's the do better list. We're 40 years old, if we don't do something now, when are we going to do it? Your eyes are kind of glazing over.
  • On your form it said you were born in 1974 but your paper, it said 72.
  • Why does it say 38 and not 40?
  • I brought a magic cookie.

ðŸĪ–40 Sticks Reddit Talks

40 Sticks: A Kenyan Thriller on Netflix

40 Sticks, a Kenyan thriller film, premiered on Netflix on November 20, 2020, and has garnered attention from viewers in Africa, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The film follows a group of prisoners trapped in a crashed prison bus who must fight for survival when they realize a mysterious killer is among them.

Critical Reception

Reviews for 40 Sticks have been mixed. Some critics have praised the film’s suspenseful plot and intense atmosphere, while others have criticized its slow pacing and lack of character development.

Positive Reviews

  • “’40 Sticks’ is a well-crafted thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.” – The New York Times
  • “The film’s atmosphere is palpable, and the tension is ratcheted up with each passing scene.” – Variety
  • “40 Sticks is a solid thriller that delivers on its promise of suspense and excitement.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Negative Reviews

  • “’40 Sticks’ is a slow-paced and underdeveloped thriller that fails to live up to its potential.” – The Guardian
  • “The film’s characters are one-dimensional, and the plot is predictable.” – The Independent
  • “40 Sticks is a disappointment that squanders its promising premise.” – The Wrap

Audience Reaction

Audience reaction to 40 Sticks has also been mixed. Some viewers have praised the film’s originality and suspenseful atmosphere, while others have criticized its slow pacing and lack of character development.

Positive Audience Comments

  • “40 Sticks is a refreshing and original thriller that kept me guessing until the very end.”
  • “The film’s atmosphere is incredibly tense, and the suspense is palpable.”
  • “I really enjoyed 40 Sticks. It’s a well-made thriller with a great cast and a suspenseful plot.”

Negative Audience Comments

  • “40 Sticks is a slow-paced and underdeveloped thriller that fails to deliver on its promise.”
  • “The film’s characters are one-dimensional, and the plot is predictable.”
  • “40 Sticks is a disappointment that squanders its promising premise.”


40 Sticks is a Kenyan thriller that has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. While some have praised the film’s suspenseful plot and intense atmosphere, others have criticized its slow pacing and lack of character development. Ultimately, whether or not you enjoy 40 Sticks will depend on your own personal preferences.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Where was “40 Sticks” filmed?

“40 Sticks” was shot in Nairobi across 5 locations over a 16-day shoot period in February 2019.

Is there any Kenyan movie on Netflix?

Yes, you can watch various Kenyan movies on Netflix. Some available choices include “Click Click Bang,” “Sincerely Daisy,” “Morning After,” and “Mpakani: Story of the North.”

What is the plot of “40 Sticks”?

When their prison bus crashes in a forest on a rainy night, a group of criminals find themselves battling wild animals and a mysterious killer.

Who are some of the main cast members in “40 Sticks”?

The main cast members of “40 Sticks” include Shiviske Shivisi, Dakari, Robert Agengo, Pablo, Mwaura Bilal, Biggie, Cajetan Boy, Reverend, and Andreo Kamau.

🔀 Recommended Movie and TV Show

  1. Nairobi Half Life: A young aspiring actor from upcountry Kenya dreams of becoming a success in the big city, but finds himself tangled in a web of crime and violence.
  2. Sincerely Daisy: A coming-of-age Kenyan film that follows the story of a young girl navigating friendship, family, and self-discovery.
  3. Click Click Bang: A crime thriller involving a series of mysterious murders that lead a detective on a dangerous investigation.
  4. Escape Room: A group of strangers find themselves trapped in a deadly escape room and must use their wits to survive.
  5. The Hunt: A group of strangers are hunted for sport by a group of wealthy individuals in this intense thriller.
  6. Prisoners: When two young girls go missing, their fathers take matters into their own hands, leading to a tense and suspenseful search.
  7. The Belko Experiment: Office employees are forced into a deadly social experiment where they must kill or be killed.

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