Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Spiders (2000)

Yes, Spiders is a bad film in many ways. It's a horror movie about giant spiders so you should know what to expect. However, Spiders is also great fun in many ways. It hits absolutely every beat that you expect and it shows no shame in doing so. In fact, there are even a few laughs and self-aware moments in the script - especially when one young man realises the situation developing and says that it's "like a bad science fiction movie" - as well as the required amount of spider mayhem.

The plot involves a bunch of young folk putting themselves in peril by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A space shuttle crashes and they go to investigate the wreckage. When a bunch of government types turn up to remove bodies and help any survivors, the young folk try to keep hidden and go along for the ride to find out just what's going on a la the Scooby gang. Unfortunately, what's going on turns out to involve conspiracy theories, meddling with things that shouldn't really be meddled with and, of course, some big, ugly bastards with eight legs.

Directed by Gary Jones, working from a script by Stephen David Brooks, Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch that was based on a story by Boaz Davidson, Spiders isn't going to be the first film choice for anyone seeking high art but it's surprisingly good for what it is.

The special effects, for starters, are very good at times. That will probably have something to do with the fact that KNB Effects worked on the movie. Not every practical effect is convincing, and the CGI is pretty poor in places, but there are some great moments of gore and gloopiness.

The acting is also . . . . . . . . . oh wait, nope. The acting isn't that good BUT everyone involved somehow manages to give the impression that they're being a good sport about it all, going along with every ridiculous turn of events. Leading lady Lana Parrilla is likeable enough, even if her character does lose her glasses about a third of the way into things and then never needs them again (a hilariously obvious war to show the transition from brainy to brainy beauty). Josh Green is okay, if a bit bland, and Oliver Macready and Nick Swarts both do well, it's just a shame that they didn't get more to do. Mark Phelan is good enough in his role and the spiders go about being very spidery.

There are people who never want to see these kinds of movies being made, ever. But if you're going to make a film like this then THIS is how to do it. With a sense of humour, a number of moments that meet audience expectations and no limits on where the craziness could end up.


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