Arachnophobia Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 14, 2013
This is one of those films that can be described as a classic B-movie in both the good sense and the bad. Its very much like the film 'Congo' really, exaggerated characters, plenty of creepy moments, elements of hunting mixed with suspense...but all in a slightly comical way, not in an overly serious way. The films title says it all really, playing on the fears that many people have and doing it in bloody good fashion I'll say.

One big ugly motherf**ker of a spider hitches a ride from Venezuela and ends up in a small wholesome American as apple pie town. Once there it breeds with the local spiders and creates a whole army of deadly eight legged facehuggers that go on the rampage biting all the lovely townsfolk, how horrific!. Its up to the new doc in town, Jeff Daniels, to save everyone...yeah not good, having Jeff Daniels as you're only hope!.

'A web would indicate an arachnoid presence'

Loved the whole scenario of Daniel's new in town City doctor character up against the aged, stuck in the past, doesn't like change, old fashioned methods small town doctor. Brilliantly played by Henry Jones.

This film is so darn hokey its fantastic, everything within it it cliched and predictable but that's the way it should be. There are no complaints here, no moaning, this is exactly what was set out to do and you get exactly what you'd expect, tiny aliens invading smallville USA. So yes the main daddy spider is an animatronic laugh out loud effect, they have clearly tried to make him look real but its very obvious looking yet highly cool at the same time. You don't see him too clearly, mainly the legs, but in the final showdown he presents himself (almost) in all his furry glory, hissing and screaming too I might add!.

What was impressive about this film was they used real spiders alongside the fake ones. In fact they used lots of real spiders, it makes you wonder how on earth they managed to do it, get the spiders to go where they wanted and create some really decent spine tingling moments. I've read they attract them using cold or heat?? sounds bizarre, but you must admit many shots in this film look terrific as the little blighters scurry around. The more impressive shots are seeing the spiders dangling on their web threads.

Of course the winning formula here is the lurking fear factor. The devious fellows behind the film use every trick in the book damn them, things that you dread, that you have nightmares about. Spiders on your face, inside cereal boxes, in you bed, on your hand, in you hair, hanging down from the ceiling on their web threads and hovering above you or landing on your head!, leaping at you, in the shower, inside slippers etc...There's an absolute multitude of moments that will make you jump or squirm involuntary (if you don't like spiders), just the sheer vision of seeing one of these little long legged arachnids spring into action is enough to give me the shits.

Its funny how such small little creatures that actually do exist (this ain't no fantasy monster flick) can create such powerful reactions from us. I'm sure some folk would say this is more scary than any slasher/psycho horror flick. Myself, I don't like spiders at all, and this film certainly made me check where my feet were whilst watching. A well made flick that gives you the creeps and also looks really good too, its still B-movie schlock but the wonderful characters, brilliant spider camera work and the full on American cheese is glorious.

Kudos to John Goodman as the exterminator, funny character, amusing look and of course completely hammy. 'Actually, he's probably still at the bottom of my shoe. You really can't tell what it is anymore'.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2009
Eight legs, two fangs and an attitude.

"Arachnophobia" is a very entertaining horror movie produced by Steven Spielberg.

A group of researchers are on a research expedition to Venezuela. Upon a routine trapping of insects, the researchers find two stunned spiders in their traps. They are unlike any spiders they have ever seen, and they begin to study the spiders. One of these spiders escapes, and kills a researcher. Once the researcher is discovered dead, the spider hitches a ride back to the researchers home town, Canaima, California. There, Dr. Ross Jennings has just moved in, and he is deathly afraid of spiders. Now, the Venezuelan spider has reached the U.S., and has begun to dominate the town. Soon, people who appear completely healthy start to die suddenly. It is only after the death of the town's only other doctor, that Jennings realizes it may be a spider that is causing the death. Soon, they attract the attention of the head researcher in Venezuela, Dr. James Atherton. He sends his assistant to Canaima, only verifying that the Venezuelan spider was involved. He informs them that the Venezuelan spider plans on taking over its new area, by creating reproductive offspring with a domestic house spider. Now, it's a race against time before the Venezuelan spider manifests the town and eventually the entire country.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2009
I watched with a Friend who has arachnophobia, still she wanted to watch this Movie very badly. Okay.

It wasnt fun for me to hear her scream next to me whenever the Spiders appeared on the Screen and who has seen the Movie it was 95%, so anyone can imagine what Screams I had to suffer. lol

Long time ago someone recommended this Movie to me and I didnt actually paid attention, ironically a friend who has Arachnophobia told me to give it a try.

Spiders dont bother me at all. It began a tiny bit "suspense" or in this case "oh this is the beginning" but later I noticed it was more "humourous" and not even CLOSE TO A HORROR.

The only Horror were the Screams of the Friend during the whole Movie. Jesus Christ I had a headache at the End.
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2007
Unless you actually have arachnophobia, it would be hard to really call this film horrific. Frank Marshall (the director) called it a thrill-omedy, and that might be the best description. A little thrilling, a little funny.
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2010
Arachnophobia promises to be quite amusing. A film that is tongue in cheek, Arachnophobia is a humourous Horror film, using the fear of spiders as a plot device, director Frank Marshall crafts one terrific Horror Comedy gem with Arachnophobia. The film will definitely not appeal to people with a fear of spiders. Frank Marshall's film is a comical and effective scare flick, and Marshall uses plenty of tricks to scare the audience. The film does contain a good dose of humour and the on screen comedy is well done. Produced by Steven Spielberg and featuring a great cast, including John Goodman as Delbert McClintock. Goodman is definitely one of the funniest actors in the film and he delivers one of his best roles along with his performance of Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. I'm not usually scared of spiders and insects, and at times while watching the film I was squirming a few times. Even if you're not afraid of spiders, you might feel uneasy a few times, but luckily Arachnophobia is a well crafted horror comedy that makes this fear a bit more amusing. This is one terrific tongue in cheek film thats sure to give a great time and a few jitters as the eight legged creatures kill off the population of a small town. A well directed film that uses many scare tactics, Arachnophobia is a film that is just as much fun as it is frightening. But if you're scared of spiders, then you might want to skip this title, or if you are, and you think watching this film will make you get over your fear of spiders, then watch... At your own risk. For the rest of us, laugh out at this awesome well crafted Horror comedy, the actors are terrific and the story is great too. A must see for horror comedy buffs.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
The fact that spiders really do bother me is partially why this film is so effective, at least to me and others like me. Even for people who aren't bothered by spiders, this is still a well made and fun little thrill ride. It's creepy, funny, and it has some good effects. I gave more respect to this movie after learning that it was one of the many films Jamie Hyneman (from Mythbusters) worked on.

The cast is pretty good, and John Goodman is just a riot in the scene stealing comedic relief role. I haven't seen this in a while, and I'm amazed I've seen it multiple times, but I do like it, even though spiders just mess me up. The direction is good, and the script is okay, if just barelty serviceable.

Overall, this is a scary (but still kinda fun) thrill ride that provides a good balance with the screams and laughs, and makes for decent entertainment.
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2007
When a photographer is bitten and killed by a spider in the Venezuelan jungle, his body is shipped back to his home town of Canaima in California. Unfortunately something has hitched a ride in his coffin??

Mixing B movie conventions with modern day fun, Arachnophobia sees Frank Marshall direct and Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, John Goodman and Harley Jane Kozak line up in the cast. Tho horror and comedy on the surface doesn't seem to be a that hard to blend together, it's surprising over the years just how few horror comedy movies can claim to be successful and have been able to to win over a like minded audience. In fact, if we move away from the likes of Sean Of The Dead, the B movie creature feature, especially in modern times, has few offerings of worth. We can certainly mention the awesome (and best of the modern bunch) Tremors, which turned a small Worldwide profit, and then we turn to Lake Placid and Arachnophobia. Both of the latter made considerable amounts of cash (for the genre) and are propelled by a degree of star wattage. What was in Arachnophobia's favour too, was that spiders strike the fear of god into many people, thus, as Marshall said himself on the publicity junket, "People like to be scared but laughing at the same time". Arachnophobia achieves this in spades, mixing real spiders (Avondale breed) with model and magnet work, the effect achieved is nervy giggles coupled with creepy goose flesh putting in an appearance.

The cast work hard to make it work. OK, Sands remains as wooden as he always is, but in this case his pompous bug professor calls for it. Daniels as the modern doctor hoping to start a new life in the country, is an excellent lead, a fine actor who's no show on the A list of Hollywood remains an utter mystery. But it's with the big jolly blunderbuss that is John Goodman that Arachnophobia gets its frothy B movie fun. His inept, half witted but knowing pest controller, Delbert, engages in that small town Americana way. An innocence to the terrors of the world that makes for a nice play off with the Arachnophobic Dr. Ross Jennings (Daniels). Nicely shot around Cambria, California, to fully realise the small town under arachnid siege, Arachnaphobia is the perfect comedy creeper for all the family. Enjoy: even if you have to watch from behind your hands.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
Fun and exciting spider horror thriller that mixes humor with terror quite nicely, while not taking itself too seriously. With plenty of scenes that make you jump or squirm in your seat, depending on your attitude towards spiders, or tricking you into believing you are about to jump. The good-humored cast takes care of the rest. Particularly awesome: John Goodman's exterminator. Just all around satisfying and entertaining.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
Good memories of this movie when I was a kid. Not scary really, more funny.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2009
When I think of my favorite horror movies, "Arachnophobia" is always one of the first ones that I think of. Some killer spiders start taking over the city and invading peoples' houses and it's up to some exterminators to put an end to them.
In my opinion, "Arachnophobia" is a classic and I recommend anybody who likes horror movies to see it. It's fun to watch the spiders do their damage while you try to figure out how anybody could kill them completely. That's why it's a good movie to watch over and over again no matter how many times you've seen it. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. A classic in my book, period.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2009
I really loved the mise en scene, especially of the beginning part in the jungle. I found the middle bit quite on going and not boring but beackground suitable. The end was really good though. I liked the camera angles on the spider. It did make my skin crawl!
Super Reviewer
½ May 17, 2008
I remember watching this when I was younger...and it was definitely interesting to watch...may have to check it out again.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2008
Supposedly scary movie
Super Reviewer
February 2, 2008
campy fun
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2008
Killer spiders are on the loose to terrorise a small town.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2007
...still can't watch this movie. Maybe because I suffer from the name. And really big spiders are something I don't like to indulge in watching....
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2007
John Goodman is awesome in this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2007
A seriously unscary comic horror that's likeable as a piece of light entertainment, but don't expect any shocks or chills (unless you REALLY hate spiders...) John Goodman is OK in a cameo as a self-important exterminator, but as a whole, it delivers little more than the occasional chuckle.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2007
A good tongue in cheek horror as a deadly new species of spider manages to get to a small town and causes chaos. If you weren't afraid of spiders before, you will be after this!
Super Reviewer
½ April 17, 2007
If your afraid of spiders stay away from this movie. This movie has a good story and it makes you wonder if something like this could happen in real life. John Goodman does an excellent job as the exterminator and provides comedic relief to brighten the movie. Just be careful when you take a shower or sit on the toilet tonight.
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