Spiders Review Feb 24, 2013 19:16:14 GMT -5
Post by Mr.HoRrOr on Feb 24, 2013 19:16:14 GMT -5
Plot:Debris from a disabled Soviet space station that crash landed on Earth, gives birth to deadly mutant spiders. With New York City threatened to be overrun by the gigantic arachnids, via its metropolitan subway system, it's a race against time to stop the Queen Spider from uniting with her eggs before a deadly chain of events are triggered from the reunion!
Pete Lee Wilson
Review:I normally am not geared up for films about mutant, giant, or over-sized killer spiders. I just think all that can be done with a genre like this. Has been done. I mean...what else can one do with the killer spider sub-genre? There's not much there to work with as far as base material is concerned. The spiders can be venomous or poisonous.
And oh...giant-sized! It can't work unless they're huge because who's gonna want to see a movie about normal-sized spiders attacking people? Although oddly enough, there's yet to be a horror/sci-fi movie with medium-sized spiders about as big as a basketball. They've always been either small ("Arachnophobia"), or giant-sized ("Eight Legged Freaks"). "Spiders", a film from director Tibor Takacs.
Takes the giant spider road show to New York City. This time, the giant spiders are created as a result of a downed Russian space station. Because ya know, it's...always, the Russians. The problem with this particular film though, is that we don't get any spider action for real? Until around the 50 minute mark. And keep in mind this is a 90 minute movie. And when our eight-legged friends finally do arrive topside, and begin attacking folks on the streets of New York, it's not nearly as exciting as it should be.
Mostly because I don't think this films production budget could afford to stray from one or two particular blocks in downtown New York City. Things start out well enough for the film though. It just, never really goes anywhere. That's its biggest problem. The movie goes around in circles after the opening 15 minutes or so. Patrick Muldoon, who somehow seems to end up in almost every cheesy B-horror movie made in the last 5 years. Plays Jason. A transit employee who works in the upper-echelon of the organization. In other words, he doesn't have to repair the train tracks or sweep the subway platforms. A mysterious power-outage draws him away from his desk, and further into investigating the crux of things.
Mostly after he begins to lose friends fatally when they go down into the subway tunnels to investigate the cause of the outage. His investigation, eventually leads him into crossing paths with his "ex", Rachel (Campbell). These two are the cliche horror movie couple. They're estranged, separated, divorced, pissed off at one another. And when their paths cross, it's one of those awkward moments. Oh, and they also share a daughter named Emily. Which complicates matters because, you know...they really wanna hate each other and all.
And it's always harder for exes to take personal digs at each other..."in front of the kids"....shhhhh. Rachel and Jason are forced to work together however when the body count below begins to rise, and the spiders eventually make it topside. These spiders pretty much have one mission in mind, which is to reunite with the queen spider. Who the film hardly ever shows, but keeps suggesting "is out there somewhere". And she's pissed, and she's dangerous. Of course, because she's friggin huge! And could easily crush a small toy store in one fell swoop. But "Spiders" doesn't work very well because there's too much foreshadowing. And not enough action.
Most of the picture is spent having Muldoon and Campbell's characters run around the city avoiding evil government types who are after them. This as a Russian/Soviet scientist tries to assist the U.S. government in figuring out how to destroy the spiders before it's too late. Of course, this part of the equation is rank with cliches such as the Russian scientist having his own agenda. The U.S. government guys being nefarious, evil, and not looking out for Americans as much as they're just trying to make a power-grab at the specimens themselves.
And of course thrown into the mix is the above-mentioned Soviet scientist being so enamored by the queen spider that he kind of turns his attention to trying to protect her. A scenario which we've seen in many "horror/sci-fi" films before. But these guys never realize that the killer..."whatever". Isn't human! So their worship of it as an idol, will only lead to disaster. The one thing this movie does right though is on the directing end. It's a pretty well shot movie, capturing the downtown area of New York City in a glittery, glitzy, and shiny yet urban kind of way.
Similar to an episode of "Gossip Girl" or any of those CW shows set in the big apple. Unfortunately, that's about as good as "Spiders" gets. It lacks action, suspense, and even cool kills or gore. The films big reveal is handled poorly. Which is too bad because the build up to the moment we all know is coming. The mutant arachnids spilling out onto the streets of New York, is very well done.
It's just that when we get to that moment...things don't push the envelope or get as intense as this viewer would have hoped. Which leaves you to think, maybe they save the best for last? Nah, the ending is pretty tame as well. In fact, it has a lot of holes and far-fetched moments where our hero (Muldoon), tries to defeat the evil queen spider. But in a movie like this, disbelief must be suspended going in. I understand that. It's just that, there's no "bang" here, for the buck. And in a movie about mutant spiders, seeing Patrick Muldoon and Christa Campbell running around the same block 15 times for a duration of the film, just doesn't do it for me. "Spiders" isn't a "bad movie".
It just doesn't know how to properly maneuver in the sub-genre it's playing in. Say what you want about SyFy Channel's terrible spider movies. They at least keep the suspense going with constant threats and attacks. "Spiders" had better creature and visual fx, but when it came to keeping with the intensity and suspense of the situation, it doesn't make the grade.
THE GOOD:The directing really captured the gritty, urban look of downtown New York City. Muldoon and Campbell give good performances. The creature fx were above par, and the film shows potential early.
THE BAD:"Spiders" waits too long to really "get going". And when it does finally "get going"...it's not bad ass enough to leave you on edge. It actually falls quite flat. All the way till the end.
OVERALL:Two stars out of four.