A Disappointingly Bland Spider Flick
Given how many people suffer from arachnophobia across the world, it’s surprising there haven’t been many really scary spider movies. With the exception of perhaps Tarantula and Eight Legged Freaks (and lets face it, they’re not THAT scary), there aren’t many that have grabbed the illustrious title of best spider movie (unless you count any of the Spiderman movies!)
Itsy-Bitsy released several years back, doing a pretty admirable job but beyond that, there hasn’t been much movement on the spider front. Step forward indie flick Spider In The Attic.
Like many indie films of its kind, budget plays a big part here and it’s clear from the off that this movie was made without much money. Even so, given it’s available to buy on Amazon for £7.99 (£3.99 to rent) that’s a pretty tall ask for what’s here.
The story is straightforward enough but becomes more and more ridiculous the longer the plot goes on. The gist here is that a scientist by the name of Dr. George Zizerman has been using Nazi plans to genetically enhance creatures. He’s chosen to do so on spiders, and in doing so they’ve grown much larger than he could have ever imagined.
There’s also some chatter about extraterrestrial material being combined in this (see what I mean about bonkers?) and it results in Zizerman being killed by the arachnid.
Step forward mum and daughter Linda and Lucy Buxton. Linda is a radio host and in desperate need of a big scoop to save her failing show. When Lucy uncovers a strange house in Kent and rumours about experimentations, they pack up and head down with a whole group of other people, including best friend Belle, her partner Sam and several higher-ups from the radio.
It’s your classic stalker-house set-up from here, as the gang find that all is not well in Zizerman’s house. Inevitably, they each come face to face with the killer spiders.
On paper, there’s actually room for a pretty goofy but enjoyable monster flick but Spider In The Attic loses major points in almost every single category. The screenplay regularly detours away from the spiders and focuses on a lackluster marital tiff, an underdeveloped mother/daughter relationship and lots of filler chat between Lucy and Belle. In fact, aside from the 2 minute opener, it takes nearly a third of the run-time before the spiders even show up.
Given the focus on dialogue here, all of these chats are delivered with such monotone precision that it’s hard to get invested in anything they’re saying – especially when the spiders begin killing.
The CGI is going to be talked about a lot and while it is pretty janky, it’s also understandable given the budget restraints so we won’t be too harsh on the spiders.
What’s less understandable though is the script which is, quite frankly, seriously flawed. The characters make such illogical decisions right the way through and it makes for a frustrating watch, especially after so much chatter goes to waste. Even worse, the movie ends on the most bonkers cliffhanger that baits for a sequel that is probably never going to be made.
The biggest problem here though comes from the spiders themselves – or lack thereof. They’re only seen fleetingly and given the poor dialogue and acting throughout, it’s disappointing to wait so long for spider action.
Spider In The Attic is not a scary film. The only scary thing here is how long you’ll find yourself wading through mundane relationship drama to get to the spider action. When it finally does arrives, it’s not worth the wait.
Verdict - 2/10