Saturday, 6 October 2018

Shudder Saturday: Arachnid (2001)

Note: I watched Arcahnid on Wednesday evening. I went to check a couple of scenes from it on the Thursday. It had been removed from Shudder, dammit. But I watched it. It WAS on Shudder. I own it, so could revisit those scenes I wanted to see. And this review stands (apologies, however, that Arachnid isn't on Shudder at this time, but perhaps it will come back).

I hate spiders. Hate them. Or, to put it more accurately, I am terrifed of them. Yep, a big arachnophobe, that's me. I know all of the arguments against my irrational fear, especially considering the relatively small varieties that we have here in the UK, but I can't help it. That's why it's an irrational fear. As much as I am afraid of spiders, I am also drawn to horror films that feature the eight-legged horrors. And I thought that Arachnid was going to be a decent, low-budget, killer spider movie. I was wrong.

Things start with a pilot who goes down with his plane. He wanders around an island, sees a weird alien creature, and then he's killed. Time passes. A group head out to the same island, including a woman (Loren Mercer, played by Alex Reid) who is the sister of the missing pilot. They wander about the foliage for a while. Someone gets internal problems from nasty ticks, there are various arguments between members of the group, and then the third act is time for the main creature to be showcased, a giant spider out to kill them all.

The fact that Brian Yuzna was attached as a producer got my hopes up. He's given me a number of very enjoyable horror movies over the years. Unfortunately, his name attached to this as producer doesn't mean that the end product is anything like his directorial outings. Arachnid is bad. The script by Mark Sevi is poor, full of slapdash plotting and horribly cliched dialoge, and the direction from Jack Sholder doesn't help any. The whole thing feels cheap and rushed, although it's saved from being a complete waste of your time by a couple of decent gore gags and the main creature.

Reid isn't a good enough female lead to hold viewer interest, and neither is Chris Potter (her male co-star). But it's easy to see why they bagged the lead roles, certainly in comparison to the selection of fairly dire people supporting them. Rocqueford Allen is okay, the rest are almost unbearable for the entire duration of their time onscreen.

It's not hard to make a spider-centric horror movie that I will enjoy. Whether they're of normal size of turned into giant monstrosities. Hell, I have fond memories of The Giant Spider Invasion. So I struggled with my low rating of this one. But there's just not enough here to make it even passable. Which is a shame. If they had taken away the sci-fi moments, focused more on the simple fun of people being chased by a giant spider, and thrown around some more bloodshed and nastiness, this could have been an amusing way to waste 90 minutes.


There's a cheap DVD available here.
Americans can buy it here.
Or just click on those links and go shopping for better movies.

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