"Arachnophobia" is a very entertaining horror movie produced by Steven Spielberg. It's takes the fear of spiders to the next level. The film opens with an expedition in South America where a very deadly tarantula puts the bite on an American photographer, killing him in the process. Just before the body gets transferred back to the U.S., the spider sneaks into the coffin. Once in the states, the tarantula quickly mates with a domestic house spider and that creates the ultimate nightmare. Before you know it, a new strain of spiders have been born, that these little creepy crawlers are just as lethal! Jeff Daniels is excellent as the new doctor in town who hates spiders. He begins to realize something strange is happening. A couple of deaths occur, and the doc feels that these unexpected demises might be spider related. And man it's a scary ride to the finish. "Arachnophobia" literally gave me the creeps. And it's also funny. Many of the film's comedy is provided by John Goodman as the town exterminator. He's literally a hoot. The thing about this movie that surprised me is that I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and it kept my attention all the way to the end. "Arachnophobia" was directed by Frank Marshall, Spielberg's long time collaborater, in his directorial debut. Marshall did a very good job his first time out helming a film which looked like a promising career move at first. He made his second film, "Alive" a few years later (I've not seen this one yet). Then he made "Congo", which was one of the worst movies of 1995, and hasn't directed another movie since (at least not to my knowledge). But "Arachnophobia" was an above average debut for Marshall. He's got good potential as a director. This isn't a brilliant movie, but a good one. And it's lots of fun. One word of warning: if you have a fear of spiders, don't watch this. You'll probably hate it. Don't say I didn't warn you.
*** (out of four)
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