Eight Legged Freaks – USA, 2002 – reviews

‘Let the squashing begin!’

Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 American science fiction comedy horror feature film directed by Ellory Elkayem  (They Nest; Return of the Living Dead: NecropolisReturn of the Living Dead: Rave from the Grave) from a screenplay co-written with Jesse Alexander, based on a storyline co-written with Randy Kornfield. The movie stars David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra and Scarlett Johansson.

Plot:

The residents of a rural mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of SUVs.

Mining engineer Chris McCormack (David Arquette) and Sheriff Sam Parker (Kari Wuhrer) have to mobilise an eclectic group of townspeople into battle against the bloodthirsty eight-legged beasts…

Reviews:

Eight Legged Freaks is very PG-13. It’s very silly, very family. All the spiders are CGI and either giggle and scream like Gremlins when they’re being cute or they roar like lion’s when they’re attacking. And the hero is a kid who knows everything about spiders, but whom all the adults, including the bumbling cop, dismiss.” All HorrorAll Horror

“It’s the filmmakers’ post-camp comprehension of what made old-time B movies good-bad that makes Eight Legged Freaks a perfectly entertaining summer diversion.” LA Weekly

“The minimal fun the movie supplies is dependent on people putting their hands where they shouldn’t be, or wandering into dark spaces where no one belongs. And the climax takes place in the moribund Prosperity Mall, a battle that’s a shameless steal from George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. At least Freaks is smart enough to know it’s shameless.” The New York Times

“The movie’s director, Ellory Elkayem, has a sure comic touch […] I like the way he keeps the characters likable and daffy, and positions the spiders just this side of satire. The arachnids make strange non-spidery gurgles and chirps, are capable of double-takes…” Roger Ebert

“Everyone plays it for real, and it’s easy to suspend belief and enjoy the ride. Terrific effects with CGI and miniatures blending seamlessly and the music score is both exciting and playful. There are a few terrifying moments, but mostly it’s a hoot: a compelling combination of terror and fun.” Urban Cinephile

Cast and characters:

  • David Arquette … Chris McCormick
  • Kari Wuhrer … Sheriff Samantha Parker
  • Scott Terra … Mike Parker
  • Scarlett Johansson … Ashley Parker
  • Doug E. Doug … Harlan Griffith
  • Rick Overton … Deputy Pete Willis
  • Leon Rippy … Wade
  • Matt Czuchry … Bret
  • Jay Arlen Jones … Leon
  • Eileen Ryan … Gladys
  • Riley Smith … Randy
  • Matt Holwick … Larry
  • Jane Edith Wilson … Emma
  • Jack Moore … Amos
  • Roy Gaintner … Floyd

Technical details:

  • 99 minutes
  • DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS
  • Technicolor
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39 : 1

Box office:

Eight Legged Freaks took $17,231,006.

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