|Directed by:||Frank Marshall|
|Written by:||Don Jakoby, Wesley Strick|
|Cast:||Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozak, Harley Jane Kozak, Julian Sands|
My Halloween-athon has been full of all kinds of crazy creepy crawlies, but this film serves up a different kind of creature feature. A threat that everyone can relate to, a threat that resides in everyday life and is naturally freaky. Spiders. Not gigantic man-eating spiders. Just the kind we've all seen in our room before. It might seem silly to hold such fear from something so tiny, but they're still oddly frightening.
You gotta give the movie props for being able to create such genuine chills and how effective the frights are from not resorting to a heavy amount of gore, or any gore for that matter. Some might just see it as a gimmick, exploiting our natural human instincts or cheating to get the scares out of us. But I don't think so.
There's a great deal of silliness to this movie as well, which was the directors way of relieving the tension of the suspense and scares. But it's this silliness that actually held my enjoyment back a bit. It might sound weird considering the goofy horror movies that I praise so much, but it feels like a confusion in tone, or a lack of balance between I should say. There were times when I wished the movie would get a little more serious is what I'm trying to say.
And it's no surprise that John Goodman was the by far the highlight of the movie for me. Not only because I've been a Roseanne fan since I can remember, but the guy is always just such a joy to watch. He has the ideal screen presence and I thought he made his character one of a kind.
BOTTOM LINE: It's a cool little family friendly horror movie that gains its chills genuinely and thrives on a relatable, common threat that has haunted almost everyone. It's a pretty fun time full of many thrills, but a little too much silliness for me personally. Overall, if you're looking for something to spook the whole fam without getting too nasty, this is a fine choice. And John Goodman is the man!