“Arachnophobia” | Movie Review

Arachnophobia (1990) 1Grade (B+)

Some films age like a fine wine and this is one of them. 

“ARACHNOPHOBIA” stars Jeff Daniels and John Goodman and follows a family from the city that moves out to the country, that soon find their home overrun by a massive swarm of deadly spiders.

Sure the premise is ridiculous but fiction is fiction and when done properly stories based on much greater absurdity can still translate to a fun, entertaining movie, such as this one. The story-line is simple, and rather thin, but serves its purpose in providing plenty of cheap, albeit fun jump scares, and despite being over 25-years old this film still can deliver some chills.

The pace is swift and the small town is tormented by these spiders in a variety of ways that will still have you looking for spiders days after watching. For a thriller that will have you on edge this movie is a success. Yes it’s far from perfect, but its highly serviceable for what it wants to be. It may not have the most developed or layered story but it is an engaging film that still holds up after all the years.

Jeff Daniels was sufficient in the lead and John Goodman was a great addition. They both had some charisma in their roles and help pass the time for sure. But the spiders are the true star of the film and rightfully so. The first-person camera work was amusing and surprisingly ominous with the help of a fun score. The backdrops in the barn where the spiders nest early on was a creepy scene, as well as a ominous intro in the jungles where the first victim is claimed.

Arachnophobia (1990) 4

Sometimes a film is so bad its good but this is a case where a film is so fun some of the cheesy moments are still comical. Such as the furry spider legs that are always creeping out of view every time the camera puts them in frame. The deep musical background the spider has as its theme also works effectively in building suspense, and engages the viewer.

This film knew what it wanted to be, it wanted to be a thriller with a spider as the killer and it delivers a fun script to complete that task. It’s a simple thriller, but a good one and is still a great time to watch. It may not do anything perfectly but it does many things effectively and it has fun doing so. The face is swift and as the body count piles up so does the tension until a purely enjoyable showdown in the wine cellar with a nail gun.

If you haven’t seen this one I recommend it for the good times it delivers. Also, the more creeped out you are by spiders, the better this movie will be in having you looking over your shoulder for a couple days after.

Time: 103 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (For creature violence, partial nudity and language)