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Eight Legged Freaks /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scarlett Johansson, Matt Czuchry, Doug E. Doug 

Directed by: Ellory Elkayem 

Produced by: Bruce Berman, Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich 

Written by: Jesse Alexander, Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield 

Distributor: Warner Brothers


Movie Image
Movie Image
Movie Image

      I’m not exactly sure what Eight Legged Freaks wants to classify itself as, a horror or a comedy. It acts as if it has quite the terrifying premise, but with a cast of comedians, such as David Arquette; the few chilling moments are broken up by little comedic jokes. If giant spiders that look like something straight out of Pokemon are leaping straight at a guy and trying to spin him into a cocoon, it a little funny when he proceeds to say: “Get back…you eight legged freaks!” This criticism might sound harsh, but the corniness of the material is what makes the movie good. If filmmakers really wanted to make this scary and suspenseful, the films image would’ve been much different that what we get. This is just one of those movies that you must appreciate for what it is, and have a good time watching it.

     Eight Legged Freaks takes place in the small town of Prosperity, Arizona, where the economy is in a lull and the governor is terrible and disliked. People are happy there, though, despite the often boring life that it provides. The story opens with a nerdy preteen boy, named Mike Parker, who is riding on his bicycle on the desert road. He is riding to his friend Joshua’s house. Joshua is an avid spider collector who owns a spider farm just outside of town, but not many people like him because of his odd personality. Joshua is much older than Mike, but the little guy is his only noted friend, besides the spiders.

     The film then jumps to a week after their visit, and shows a big semi truck driving on a winding road. When a rabbit jumps onto the road, the driver veers to the right in fear of hitting it; the rabbit is saved but a barrel of toxic waste that he is carrying falls off of the truck and rolls down the steep hill below. The driver doesn’t seem to notice this, but he is overly joyful about saving the rabbit. Saving the rabbit doesn’t turn out to be one of the most beneficial ideas, though, because the toxic waste that comes off of the truck takes a huge toll on the town of Prosperity.

     The barrel of waste falls into a small stream at the bottom of the hill and seeps out of its container. The stream carries the fluid down to where the spider farm is located. Later that day, Joshua’s nearly two-hundred spiders escape when he falls into them their cages forcing the latches to open. They move across the stream that the toxic waste had mixed into, and it somehow possesses them. In a week, they have grown to be the size of monsters. They are going to invade the town, and take its people hostage, and present them to the spider to win her love. And with the sudden return of one of the towns original members, Chris McCormack (David Arquette), it won’t be any type of “Welcome Home” celebration.

     Eight Legged Freaks offers a good time, and is well worth a rental, or viewing at a matinee. The material reminds me of Men in Black, but it isn’t able to reach the high quality of Smith and Jones’ sci-fi masterpiece. The special effects are enjoyable, but only if you are able to accept them for what they are, and even laugh at them once in a while. The performances by David Arquette and Scarlett Johannson are good, but nothing compared to what they’ve had to offer in previous films. For an entertaining Friday night, and an appreciable attempt at filmmaking, Eight Legged Freaks offers a decent experience.

Danny, Bucket Reviews


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