By Mike Watt | September 7, 2003

I can only presume that the creators of “Arachnia” want viewers to think of this latest “giant spider” movie as “so bad it’s good”. Well, they’re half right. In yet another “science makes small things big” cautionary tale, a plane carrying of the world’s dumbest grad students and their dim-bulb professor gets caught in a wicked storm and crash-lands in the middle of America’s heartland. Soon, their tiny borrowed farmhouse is over-run by giant spiders.
Is there any point in going on? People who dig giant spider movies are going to dig this one too. The spiders are the high point, done in stop-motion Harryhausen style, which provides the bulk of the fun. Alexxus Young (why settle for one “x” in your name when you can have two?), who used to be a horror-con staple but seems to have vanished off the planet, proves that you don’t have to be a terrific actress – or even moderately attractive – if you’re willing to get naked in every other scene. (Heck, if you don’t mind staring in a gratuitous, unmotivated girl-girl scene, you can have all the “x”s in your name you want!) Actually, it’s unfair to pick on Ms. Young – the other “actors” in the film are just as bad (though none are quite as shrill).
To be honest, Aspden, who plays the ostensible hero of the piece, actually has some decent chops and could go on to be a cool B-movie hero. He’s the sole bright spot, acting-wise, in this teeth-grinding mess.
On the other hand, as I said, the folks most likely to pick this up are “giant spider” fans, and will happily slog through the terrible acting and the sea of plot holes. “Arachnia” delivers on the giant spider angle, and, really, what more could a “giant spider” fan ask for? Non-“giant spider” fans, consider yourself warned.

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