Hello once again, horror freaks. You know, it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched a spider themed horror movie. If I recall, the last one was 8-Legged Freaks. So when I heard about the release of Spiders, I said “why not? I could go for some cheesy, CGI spider fun”. Well, I must say, this movie surprised me, but not in the way I expected. Allow me to tell you why.
Here’s the skinny: some meteorites crash into a Soviet satellite, breaking a good-sized chunk of the satellite off and making it crash back into Earth. The satellite was home to spiders which were part of a gene-splicing experiment involving DNA taken from dead aliens found in a UFO buried in ice in Russia somewhere. What’s left of the satellite crashes into one of the NYC subway tunnels, and the few surviving spiders escape the wreckage and begin to quickly reproduce and build themselves a home underground. Naturally, the subway tunnels aren’t enough and the spiders eventually decide to explore the surface of New York.
The main chunk of story revolves around Jason, a New York Transit supervisor, whose life hasn’t been going so great lately. His colleague Jimmy becomes the first victim of the spiders, he’s going through divorce proceedings with his ex Rachel, and he (along with Rachel) gets chased by the government and military for being in possession of eggs laid by the spider queen, which the lead scientist involved wants real bad. To top it all off, Jason’s daughter is being confined to her apartment as part of a quarantine of that particular area of the city. After the eggs are stolen from Rachel, she and Jason decide to somehow get their daughter Emily out of the apartment and go somewhere safe before the spiders overrun the area.
I didn’t expect to be saying this, but this movie was BORING. I rarely check a movie to see how much time is left if I’m invested enough, but an hour in to this one and that was exactly what happened. The bulk of the movie was spent either following Jason around or back-and-forth spider related conversations between Doctor Darnoff and Colonel Jenkins, the two head cheeses involved with the study and confinement of the spiders. The acting in itself wasn’t too bad, however there didn’t seem to be any energy or enthusiasm put into any of the roles, with the possible exception of Patrick Muldoon who played Jason.
The spiders themselves didn’t get to wreak any havoc topside until around the 45 minute mark, and the first ten minutes of that was spent watching one spider (with another joining in halfway) chase Jason and Rachel around. The worst part about that chase is that the movie does that one thing that really annoys me, that being the spider(s) could have easily caught and killed either or both of them, but of course that doesn’t happen because the two protagonists were part of the main cast, therefore they have immunity to any logical death. This is of course made more obvious when no-name, supposedly well-trained soldier grunts with rifles get taken out much easier and quicker later in the movie. Oh, and this “protagonist immunity” thing happens more than once, not just in the previously mentioned scene.
The spiders don’t actually look all that bad design-wise, so long as you remember they are part spider/part alien. But of course they’re CGI, and as this a low-budget feature, the CGI is less than stellar. Don’t get me wrong, I knew full well what I was getting into with this, but the spiders were so obviously not really there in the city it was hard to not notice that fact constantly. But of course, I mentioned before my severe disliking of CGI in general, so maybe it’s my distaste of it that’s clouding my judgement. Oh, and a quick note, this is advertised also as Spiders 3D. I didn’t actually watch this in 3D. But if I did, I doubt it would have changed my mind any.
I suggest you pass on this one, unless your curiosity just gets the better of you. This movie takes itself seriously, which a movie about spiders growing to huge proportions should not do unless you have a large enough budget to make the spiders look as real as possible. If you are itching for a cheese fest involving spiders or anything with multiple legs, I suggest you re-watch 8-Legged Freaks, Arachnophobia, or Starship Troopers again, just to name a few examples of actual entertaining movies along the same lines. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go and follow my own advice. Until next time freaks…
Macabre Rating: 1.5 out of 5 tombstones