Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
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"Your friends can't help you now--1-800 boy!"
I can still remember watching classic B-monster movies with my mom when I was a kid. Tarantula, The Creeping Flesh etc. We'd watch them all and love every second of it. Those movies took themselves so seriously and at the time, they probably were horrifying to a lot of people. To my mom and I, they were just silly fun.
I had all the hope in the world that Eight Legged Freaks would be a return to that type of film. Alas, this new spider flick tries way to hard to be funny and it doesn't work.
In Eight Legged Freaks, a small town finds itself under attack by enormous spiders that become mutated thanks to a little toxic waste. The townspeople attempt to fight back, but find themselves out-matched.
This isn't really a film about character, although the film makers do try to give us some insight into the townspeople. David Arquette is a quiet chap who's just moved back into town after a ten year absence. He desperately wants to win the heart of a woman whom he's loved for years, but every time he tries to tell her how he feels, something prevents him from doing so. This includes the arac attack.
Eight Legged Freaks actually opens up on the right foot. It totally has that campy feel that I was expecting. The special effects are hokey. The spiders look super imposed, but I liked that. As the movie progressed, however, I became increasingly bored. This movie desperately tries to be a comedy, but the jokes are just not funny. It also doesn't help that the action in this picture becomes very repetitious.
Eight Legged Freaks was produced by Dean Devlin and it isn't without it's charms. I dug the spiders and their actions and portions of the film feel a bit like a looney tunes cartoon or a Joe Dante movie (think Gremlins), but eventually, the flick just sort of loses it's way. It might have helped if they'd had a screenplay, but I'm convinced that a big chunk of Eight Legged Freaks was improvised. In that respect, I was reminded of Men in Black 2. This is just forgettable stuff.
For those looking to be creeped out, you'll be sorely disappointed. Eight Legged Freaks doesn't tap into our primal fear of spiders nor does it try to. It's just looking to be a fun time at the movies. For me, it didn't work. I'd much rather sit at home and rent Arachnophobia. Now that movie was fun.
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