Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Eight Legs, Two Fangs and an Attitude: ‘Arachnophobia’ Turns 30

Arachnophobia, an intense fear of spiders, ranks high among the most common phobias. There’s something about the eight-legged arthropods that sends a large percentage of the population into a panic. It probably doesn’t help that some are incredibly venomous, or that there’s upwards of tens of thousands of different species. Yet, whether it’s because arachnophobia is so prevalent or that the tiny creepy crawlers are tough to capture on-screen plausibly, horror movies featuring spiders is a more niche category. The high pinnacle of which is Arachnophobia, released in theaters on July 18, 1990. It’s the perfect blend of humor and horror, and practical effects with live spiders set the bar so high for spider horror that it’s still yet to be surpassed thirty years later.

An impressive directorial debut by executive producer Frank Marshall (AliveCongo), Arachnophobia opens with a gorgeous trip to the Venezuelan rainforest. A photographer tags along with entomologist Dr. James Atherton (Julian Sands) and his crew to capture the exploration of new mountainous terrain. They discover a brand-new species of spider, one that happens to be aggressive and with venom so potent that its bite is lethal within seconds. The group is unaware that the spider hive’s leader has hitched a ride back to camp, where it then bites the photographer and sneaks into his coffin before it’s shipped back to his hometown. There, the spider breeds with a local species and wreaks havoc on the town.

Produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, this film boasts high production value with a notable cast led by Jeff Daniels as Dr. Ross Jennings. He’s an arachnophobe that’s transplanted his family to the small town of Canaima to become the new town practitioner, unaware that his property has become ground zero for the spider invasion. John Goodman threatens to upstage him as comedic relief Delbert, the no-nonsense exterminator. The screenplay by Don Jakoby (VampiresLifeforce) and Wesley Strick (Cape FearWolf) makes for a solid, self-contained story with well thought-out mythology.

The real star, of course, is the spiders. The creature effects and spider animatronics were created by Chris Walas (GremlinsThe Fly) and his extensive crew from Chris Walas, Inc. Those effects blended almost seamlessly with the real spiders corralled by supervising entomologist Steven Kutcher (Jurassic ParkMimicSpider-Man) and live spider coordinator Jim Kundig. The menacing big bad- referred to as the General- was portrayed by an Amazon Bird Eating Tarantula, also known as a Goliath birdeater. Fittingly, it’s the largest known spider in existence. Dubbed Big Bob on set, this spider was rendered even bulkier and more menacing with a prosthetic on its abdomen.

As for its local offspring, Marshall tested a variety of spider species to determine which would be the best on-screen fit. The clear winner: a Delena huntsman species. Despite their intimating appearance, huntsman spiders are typically harmless to humans. The sheer volume used in the film meant Kutcher had his work cut out for him in getting these tiny actors to perform on cue. He used a variety of tactics, from lemon pledge to small wire vibrations, to corral them into place. It also meant an arduous task in trying to ensure their safety.

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is of Delbert trying to hose a spider down with pesticide on the walkway of a home, and after three tries, he finally squishes it with his boot. This minor moment of comedy took hours to shoot. First, a rubber spider in place of an actual spider for the spraying, then Goodman wore a boot that was hollowed out in bottom for the real spider to safely hide in as his foot came down for the squish. Any dead spiders used on-screen were spiders that died from natural causes. In other words, no insects were harmed in the making of this movie. Kutcher, a major Hollywood go-to bug wrangler, took great care to see to this.

At a nearly two-hour runtime, Arachnophobia takes its time ramping up the horror. Unless, of course, you’re an arachnophobe. The audience is ahead of the curve as we watch Jennings and town authorities try to piece together the cause of the mysterious deaths happening around town. The suspense of these scenes and the actors (spiders and humans) prevent that from getting stale, and the humor brings needed flavor and levity. Perhaps the best thing about the padded runtime is that this town, Canaima, feels properly lived in. There’s nothing stock about this quaint place or its residents, even the jerks.

Most satisfying of all, though, is the climax. The onslaught of spiders invading the Jennings’ family home is enough to induce arachnophobia in anyone watching. Truly, seeing hundreds of spiders scale walls, skitter under doors and through keyholes, and descend from the ceiling on webbing triggers the instinctual need to curl into the fetal position. That it’s just a precursor to a thrilling basement showdown between Daniels’ Jennings and Big Bob’s angry general only solidified the movie’s rank as one of the decade’s most substantial horror offerings.

Arachnophobia won over critics upon release, though its box office performance was reasonably modest compared to its budget. That’s okay, though, as it’s a self-contained story that doesn’t warrant sequels. As it stands, Marshall’s impressive debut plays like a charming retro creature feature that keeps things relatively light until its intense finale. On a technical level, it’s brilliantly executed. That it’s nearly bloodless and devoid of sex and nudity means it’s the perfect PG-13 gateway horror to introduce young fans to the genre. Or perhaps to instill arachnophobia. It’s such a well-rounded horror film that it’s easily withstood the test of time. Thirty years later, its spiders still scare with ease.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3622676/eight-legs-two-fangs-attitude-arachnophobia-turns-30-july-18/

No comments:

Post a Comment


Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



The Top 10 Streaming Scary Movies of Today (According to Netflix)

Given that Netflix really is the master of their own data, how many times a viewer streams The Ridiculous 6, or what films don't get watched all the way straight through, or how many times someone watches an episode of Bill Nye Saves the World, it was easy for them to come up with the list based on just one percentage: 70 percent.

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!


3 Frightening Clowns Not from the Underworld or Magical Hell


3 Viral Videos Proving Spiders Are Still Scary as Hell


Stephen King Adores These 22 Horror Films


3 Super Stories on 'Halloween' and Horror That'll Make You Want to Wear the Mask

xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'