Spiders

2013, Movie, PG-13, 89 mins

Review

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Giant insect movies will never stop being a B-movie trend, but one thing is for sure -- many of them will be better than Spiders. There’s a few different ways to approach the genre: full-out camp; big-budget throwback (that eventually does terribly at the box office); or just phone the thing in, hoping the special effects will make up for what is lacking in everything else -- the latter being the Spiders route. Mix one shot contagion movie, all too many shots of European streets subbing for New York, plus a mixer of giant CG spiders with gaping jaws that roar and the end result is a faux-thriller cocktail that goes down far harsher than you’d think.

Starship Troopers’ Patrick Muldoon adopts an East Coast accent (and a beard) as the film’s hero -- a father and subway worker who’s tasked with the cleanup of what’s left of a Soviet space station that hurtled to Earth and came to rest in his tunnels. His ex-wife (Christa Campbell), a health inspector, helps him uncover what appears to be an outbreak of deadly spiders that inhabited the downed vessel. As citizens begin to drop dead, the city goes on lockdown just in time for tanks to come in to battle the arachnids that have mutated into giant beasts.

Of course it’s fun to see giant spiders wreak havoc -- in theory. It doesn’t matter that the FX aren’t that good, just as it doesn’t matter much that the acting is crummy. It’s all just this toxic mix of bland bad, where nothing is so horrible it’s entertaining, nor is its quality anywhere near what even moderately fun monster flicks pull off each and every week on cable. What’s especially sad is that the director, Tibor Takacs, is the man behind The Gate and The Gate II: Trespassers, both cult classics, yet this offering isn’t close to touching the charm of those early efforts. Make no mistake, people will watch Spiders -- and some may even have the unfortunate luck to see it on the big screen in all its 3D limited-release glory, but don’t expect much. leave a comment --Jeremy Wheeler

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