Arachnophobia (1990)

Recently, there has been news of a potential remake of the 1990’s film directed by Frank Marshall and produced by Steven Spielberg called Arachnophobia.  The rumors have James Wan connected to the possible remake.  It had been literally years since I saw Arachnophobia and with it being in the news, I figured today was as good of a time as any to revisit the movie.

I have never been a huge fan of spiders, but I would not say that I am afraid of them.  I can remember a time when I turned on the faucet at the sink and a couple of harmless but ugly spiders came leaping from the drain.  I was fairly frightened by that.

Arachnophobia has different tones that it goes back and forth with throughout the run time.  It is a horror/comedy.  There are definitely frightening moments of suspense as you see the killer spiders crawling around or jumping out at people.  It is balanced with the comedy that includes the over-the-top John Goodman as exterminator Delbert McClintock.

I remembered almost nothing about this movie so watching it today was almost like watching it for the first time.  I would have watched this sometime after it came out on a VHS tape, and I am sure I only ever saw it once.  I found the movie very tense and exciting, finding ways to scare me from those creepy spiders that seemingly can be everywhere at any time.

Jeff Daniels stars as a former big city doctor who is taking over a small country doctor’s practice when people begin dropping dead.  He discovered that the deaths have one thing in common:  spider bites.

However, the chance of one spider bite being toxic enough to kill these humans was not something you would expect from a spider from California.  Little did he know that an expedition brought an unexpected guest back from the jungles of Venezuela: a formerly unknown species of deadly venomous spiders.  The arachnid hitchhiker mated with a local spider, creating a deadly version that had set off across the town to kill anyone they come in contact with.

The cast is great.  John Goodman steals the show as his offbeat exterminator.  Jeff Daniels is believable as the doctor who struggles with his own arachnophobia.  Julian Sands is the snotty professor who lead the expedition to find these creatures.  Most of the small town population were well cast, if not that important.

Arachnophobia was a good time that definitely has a lot of tension and freak out moments.  This version of the film holds up very well, but it is interesting to think about what James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) might do with the premise.



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