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  • jhaggardjr10 November 2000
    "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)
  • I like Arachnophobia for different reasons than usual- I love its setting. Small town western coastal town, bathed in sunlight suddenly gets invaded by poisonous spiders from South America. This is a good enough film and Jeff Daniels is more than adequate as the lead everyday guy. Frank Marshall has an affinity with nature- He also directed Congo and Eight Below and this film suits his sensibility. I doubt if anyone except extreme arachnophobiacs would be scared. Go watch it for a good ride.
  • ryan_kuhn13 February 2005
    Spiders are not a favorite of many people, something about eight legs does not appeal to the masses. The movie Arachnophobia plays on the fears of an audience, while mixing in enough humor to engage the viewer with a standard horror story. Jeff Daniels plays a big city doctor who moves out into the country to take over the practice of the soon-to-be retiring doctor who has served for about 140 years or so. The Daniels' character is also scared of spiders, so when killer spiders enter the town, we have the standard ingredients to the standard horror movie. The spiders look convincing enough to scare almost anybody, and the exterminator, played by John Goodman, offers enough jokes to lead to an entertaining movie. There is nothing Earth-shattering about the film, but for popcorn season, this movie will not disappoint.
  • theashtonfive20 October 2017
    Arachnophobia deserves a much higher rating and a lot more attention and fame than it got. Jeff Daniels is fantastic in it and John Goodman steals the show as an exterminator who is in way over his head. Julian Sands is also great.

    It's about super deadly killer spiders who kill a researcher in South America then hitch a ride in his casket back to the United States where they begin a killing spree.

    This movie is very funny and also has a lot of great scares in it. If spiders make you feel icky and or shiver then this is the movie for you. The use of real non-CGI spiders and good practical effects make the spiders much more menacing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    105 minutes may be too many for a movie about killer spiders, but other than that, this is an entertaining, well-done horror comedy, in the "animals/serpents/bugs/birds/etc. attack" sub-genre. The director, Frank Marshall, and the screenwriters, Wesley Strick and Don Jakoby, think of every possible and impossible place to put their spiders, which are a near flawless mix of the real thing and animatronic models (thankfully, this movie was made before the days of CGI - notice how fake the same creatures look in later horror movies). Both the sudden shocks and the close calls are expertly timed by Marshall, and because there are no real "villains" among the humans you don't know who is going to get it - obviously the Spielbergian family is safe, but everyone else is fair game. I do, however, have some reservations about John Goodman's bug-exterminator character: he seems to have stepped in from another movie - "Ghostbusters"! **1/2 out of 4.
  • Dr. Ross Jennings is a renowned doctor from the big city who relocates to a small town in the country. Not only does he not fit in with the local residents, but he also has an uncontrollable fear of spiders which are prevalent in the surrounding area. To make matters worse, a new, lethal breed of spider has made its way from South America to their hometown, and produced a far more deadly breed that's slowly taking over their once peaceful little community. Exciting, creepy thriller with first-rate special effects, hair-raising chills, and an excellent cast. Not for the squeamish or anyone with the titular fear, especially at the film's nail-biting finale. ***
  • BringBackFear2 November 2013
    Are you afraid of spiders? We believe everyone is afraid of the furry eight legged spiders.

    If you are afraid, then force yourself to watch this incredible movie! South American killer spider hitches a lift to the US in a coffin and starts to breed and kill. This is one of the scariest spider films of all times.

    A great cast with Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman, Julian Sands and more.

    We'd recommend this movie to anyone who has not seen it. Check it out and you won't be disappointed especially if you have Arachnophobia.....
  • Arachnophobia is a great spider film that stars Jeff Daniels,Harley Jane Kozak,John Goodman, Julian Sands, and Peter Jason. The film isn`t really scary but its the creepyness that gets to you! Arachnophobia has good acting and it has a great beginning! Good music too! I recommend Arachnophobia to all creature and horror film fans alike!
  • I've seen a lot of movies in my life...too many movies some might say. I have never been so scared in a movie than I was with "Arachnophobia".

    I'm terrified of spiders. I think everything about them is just evil. And don't give me that "They eat bugs" bull, I don't care, spiders are still evil. My wife kills the spiders in our home. I know that's pathetic, but she earned that duty.

    See, I would've never seen "Arachnophobia" had it not been for my wife, then fiance.

    While it was in theaters, my buddies all wanted to see it, but in fear of wetting myself in front of them, I told them that I had other plans.

    Fast forward four years, my fiance & I were at our local Blockwood video store, looking for the perfect scary movie, and she finds "Arachnophobia", knowing darn well that I'm terrified of spiders.

    She asks if we can get it, and I agree, trying not to look like a pansy in front of the girl I want to spend my life with. By the end of the movie, I was as white as a sheet and gripping her hand so tight, she couldn't feel anything in her hand. I seriously spent most of the movie with my eyes closed.

    For that reason, she kills the spiders in our home. She felt so bad about scaring me like that.

    I know that there are quite a bit of you that think this movie is too humorous to be scary. That's biggest load I've ever heard.

    If you hate spiders, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a great film on spiders. I first saw this when I was a child. I am proud to say I have it in my DVD collection. This movie has two big stars in it that I feel give a good performance. They are John Goodman and Jeff Daniels. Daniels plays a doctor from a big city who is to take over as the head doctor in a small town. When he gets there though the old man thats supposed to retire does not feel his is ready to retire. John Goodman plays an exterminator. You have to see the movie to know more on it.

    The story is pretty good. It may require some thinking. It is like this. The opening scene is a guy going on a trip to South America. After taking picture some pictures he goes to sleep in his tent back where they are staying. A very venomous and deadly spider crawls into his tent and bites him. They way this bite works is he goes into like a seizure for a few seconds and then he kills over. He complained of a fever when he was there so they though it was the fever that killed him. When they are shipping the body back to the US the spider crawls into his coffin.

    When they get to America the spider finds its way into a barn. In the barn it breeds and creates smaller faster versions of itself. Very slowly people in the town die. The new town doctor decides to get to the bottom of this.

    I recommend that everybody see this movie. I think it is a pretty good thriller movie. The spiders can look creepy and is a must see for any spider fan. Don't be turned off by films like spiders 1 and 2. Don;t let a movie that is over done with action and special effects like eight legged freaks. This is a good popcorn movie. So if you like thriller movies go watch this.
  • SnLnc25 February 2000
    I did not start watching "Arachnophobia" expecting to like it. I was surprised to find that it was really quite enjoyable and kept your attention. It sounds like just another stupid take off of "The Birds (1963)" and something not really worth your time.

    I think what made this movie work was that it had lots of humor and the spiders did not seem too unbelievable. It had lots of shadows from the spiders on the walls and behind the curtains which has an eerie effect on the audience.

    I would recommend renting this movie. Watch it with an open mind and try not to think, "This is stupid."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sort of a cross between horror and comedy, "Arachnophobia" is sure to make you afraid to stick any body part into an unknown space. In the grand scheme of things, the movie serves as a good warning about the dangers of bringing non-native species into a new region. Obviously, the whole thing is basically entertainment, but how can you not like it? Jeff Daniels as the spider-fearing star and John Goodman as the ultra-tough exterminator are reason enough to watch the movie. I would like to learn more about spiders, but I don't have time, so this movie plus "Spider-Man" are the main exposures that I have to arachnids. Definitely a flick that you gotta love. Also starring Harley Jane Kozak.

    That one scientist should have known better than to go into the barn without protection.
  • This one of the scarriest movies I have ever seen. I'm a horror fan, but most of them are not scarry. No one is afraid that possessed dolls, men that won't die, or dead men in their sleep are going to kill them. The plots are just too unbelievable. The only thing they are good for is gore and something to laugh at. Instead the title of Arachnophobia is one of the most common fears today. Many people are afraid of spiders and most of us get shivers down our spine just thinking about those pointy little eight legs crawling on our skin. Most of the plot is not that unbelievable. New species are always being found in the rain forest and this wouldn't be the first time that a creature has hitched a ride over to the U.S. The only problems I find in the story are in the end. I will never understand why the spiders swarmed the house, but while I'm watching it I never care because I'm too busy jumping. The other thing is while Jeff Daniels is fighting "the general." The spider running towards him at full speed while on fire is a bit exaggerated.

    The movie also has a good comedy relief. Many of the towns people are somewhat humorous, but most of it is presented by John Goodman. He plays the town exterminator who tries to talk like a professional, but it's clear that he has no clue what he is saying. He also acts big and macho after stepping on a spider. Most of the movie is a cliche, but it makes fun of the cliche if you know what I mean.

    I have loved this movie ever since the first time that I saw it and even after watching it a million times I still jump and shiver at the same scenes even though I know exactly what will happen. After watching the movie there will be some scenes that will stick in your head. Personally, I was always very cautious about taking showers after watching the movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie used to scare me big time when I was much younger, and as far as I know, I've always been a fainthearted when it comes to spiders. I thought that, maybe after all these years without facing a spider situation, this movie would be just a simply entertainment to me. Boy, I was wrong. From the first time the characters see a spider I got anguished. After the first spider bite, I asked myself if I really wanted to go on in that journey. Jokes aside--I'm a bit serious actually--, I can honestly state this is a very well done movie. It uses an unexplored theme in horror movies-- at that time-- to create a terrifying story that chills almost everyone. Characters are well developed, and so is the plot, giving credibility to most scenes they built. Also, plot has enough elements to entertain you, even thought they don't talk/show spiders every time. Of course when it wanted to reach a climax spiders were all they showed, but that's the way horror movies use to get there, and I respect that. We have 103 minutes of tension, fun and jumps, and even thought we know or imagine how it's gonna end, it never fails in any aspect. I just don't know why they label this movie as comedy-- in my opinion, this is a very serious business hahaha. All in all, "Arachnophobia" is a surprisingly good movie that impacted many children in 90's and will scare everyone who has this phobia, for sure.
  • gcd703 February 2007
    Director Frank Marshall brings us this movie about a South American deadly spider wreaking havoc in a small American town. The plot from Don Jakoby and Al Williams has its share of scares, but I have to say, not much more.

    John Goodman is quite funny as local exterminator Delbert McClintock, but others, including Jeff Daniels as Dr. Ross Jennings and Julian Sands as Dr. James Atherton, are just there for the ride.

    This Steven Spielberg project, on which he shared executive production duties with director Frank Marshall, was one of his dreams come true. "Arachnaphobia" needed a darker approach, even a darker humour.

    Saturday, February 23, 1991 - Knox District Centre
  • afropic00030 June 2005
    i thought this movie was excellent i thought the cast was great it was very easy to follow in fact i was born a year after the movie was made so i didn't have a chance to watch it until like 1999 but it was still a great movie.i thought jeff daniels was the best in this thought in fact I'm going to go visit the place that it was filmed I've seen this movie about 10 times now and it gets better every time i never really get bored of it i think every body should buy this movie you won't regret it or at least rent it if your looking for an action thriller this is the movie for you.my summary i really really enjoyed this movie so much you have no clue first time i watched it i fell in love with it
  • rmax30482313 February 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    It follows the formula as if in a Marine boot camp. Strictly lockstep. A nice young doctor, his beautiful wife, and two lovely kiddies move out of the city and buy a ranch house in a small town. The house seems to have everything they want. It even has a large, well-stocked wine cellar. The cellar is always dark, cluttered, and musty.

    One after another, townspeople begin to die mysteriously. The young doctor, Jeff Daniels, an arachnophobe, thinks something is going on and asks for autopsies. The old doctor, Henry Jones, the one who refuses to retire, disagrees vehemently. Nobody believes Daniels. The people of the village scorn him and tease his children. The local infestation controller ("exterminator" to you) is matter-of-fact about the affair. Then the old doctor himself becomes a victim and Daniels finally gets his autopsies.

    Spiders did it.

    An forensic arachnologist, or whatever he is, Julian Sands, is called in on the case. He identifies the culprit as a deadly Venezuelan species that is organized like the social insects -- termites, bees, ants, and so forth. They have drones, workers, scullery maids, boot blacks, queens, and all that.

    Then, more or less suddenly, the little creatures are all over the place, dropping from the ceilings, crawling into the shower to spy on Daniel's teen aged daughter, proving that they're not entirely evil. A final confrontation involves the wine cellar, Daniels, and the queen of spiders, now grown to the size of an elephant seal.

    The direction isn't bad, given the idiocy of the plot. What can you do with a thousand spiders except have them crawl all over the place and leap at people from hidden places? What else can you have them do? A toe dance to the incidental music from "Rosamunde"? Form a twenty-foot pyramid like tiny circus acrobats? In case you're in any doubt about what you're supposed to be thinking and feeling, the musical score stuffs innumerable cues down your throat. Yes, when Daniels explores the wine cellar or the barn with a flashlight, it's a spooky scene. You can tell because the violins are going orgasmic with tremolo.

    Jeff Daniels, by the way, is the perfect actor for a role like this. His instrument only has one note. Not that that's necessarily bad, because Gary Cooper only had one and a half. That marmoreal aspect fits precisely. If he were more expressive he'd have become screaming mad by the movie's end.

    The film is bound to leave its mark on the history of cinematic mediocrity.
  • Spielberg either hits or misses, there are few who fall through the cracks of the mediocre. This one was the exception, at least as far as box office response is concerned. It didn't bomb, but it failed to generate the deserving revenue.

    Jeff Daniels had promise as a leading man, at the time this was filmed. That promise has since been broken with movies like Dumb and Dumber, 101 Dalmatians, and My Favorite Martian, but he still has what it takes in the Squid and the Whale, Gods and Generals, and Good Night and Good Luck. But then he goes and does something ridiculous like RV. Ah well. I digress.

    When Arachnophobia was filmed, Daniels was a competent and talented leading actor. His performance is completely believable and actually lacks that feeling of being mis-cast as do his comedic roles. I do have to say that I prefer him as a serious actor to his comedic attempts.

    This film, however, has been constructed in a less grand scale than Shatner's 1977 Kingdom of the Spiders. As a result, Arachnophobia is far more realistic than the overdone KotS. The antagonists exhibit realism, are not three stories tall, and the acting quality better reflects the talents of the actors involved.

    All in all? This is pretty atmospheric and generates some great taut suspense. It's definitely a creature feature worth watching.

    It rates an 8.4/10 from...

    the Fiend :.
  • If spiders give you the creeps, stay away from this film. You will be uncomfortable watching it, to say the least! I'm so-so on the creatures but this gave me some creepy moments, too. As one person said, "It makes your skin crawl."

    The spiders didn't bother me as much as most of the characters in this film. They were annoying to me, especially Jeff Daniels as "Dr. Ross Jennings." This guy blasphemes about as many times as the spiders appear.

    The only fun person in the film is John Goodman, who plays the exterminator, "Delbert McClintock." Too bad "Delbert" didn't exterminate a few people while he was at it!
  • mjw230515 January 2005
    As a movie this isn't really all that great. The cast, the script and the direction are all adequate, and there's nothing really special about it as a movie. Yet i have scored it 7/10, seems weird; but let me tell you why.

    If the bugs had been something other than spiders then i would have given this a 5 or 6, that is about the score it deserves as a movie, but if your like me, and your an arachnophobe then this movie surpasses this score significantly, it makes your skin crawl and has you thinking every shadow is a spider for weeks afterwards. Aside from scaring the s**t out of me it also made me laugh a lot.

    For arachnophobes, who enjoy a fright this is the film for you

    7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ah, Summer 1990 - what a time to be a kid, or even just a film fan in general. There were so many classics out that summer (Gremlins 2, RoboCop 2, BTTF 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Arachnophobia wasn't one of them but I was excited by the trailer (which used a weird, alternate version of the Gremlin Rag) and I was a fan of John Goodman and Julian Sands, having recently seen Raising Arizona and Warlock at the time. I didn't actually get to see the movie until the next summer when it was on in a bar in Gran Canaria though. On my way back to the hotel I ran up some steps, which made a tassel from my shorts flip up into my face. I thought it was a spider. I freaked.

    Many people are afraid of spiders, actually. Including you. There's probably a spider in your bed right now. That tickle on your arm a minute ago - that was probably a spider. You know that packet of grapes you've been munching on? I think maybe an exotic arachnid hitched a ride here from some far off land in it. I'd sleep with your mouth closed tonight if I were you.

    A fear of spiders has been in our blood since cave man days. It's a common sense in our DNA that won't go away. They have made easy villains in movies for many years, from the awful Tarantula to the awful Kingdom of the Spiders (which is still a very enjoyable film) and the overlooked Eight Legged Freaks. Frank Marshall tackled the er...eight-legged freaks before the advent of CGI, when creature effects were brought to life with puppetry and animatronics (done here by Chris Walas who seems to have retired now that his craft is obsolete) and it helps the movie feel real and tangible, but it's just not creepy or disgusting enough.

    Jeff Daniels plays an affable GP who moves to sleepy rural Canaima, California to escape the city life. The very day he arrives is the moment when a newly-discovered, highly aggressive species of spider arrives in a coffin from Venezuela. It mates with a local right under his nose and sets up a nest in his barn and basement. The locals begin to die of bites from their young and Daniels gradually figures it out as a spectacularly small amount of bodies piles up.

    Goodman (channeling Carl Spackler from Caddyshack, for some reason) and Sands come and go, the latter making some truly moronic decisions, while the spiders remain mostly off-screen. Much of the running time is devoted to all the boring bits in-between. Arachnophobia plays it safe when it really should have overwhelmed us.

    Even by 1990 PG-13 standards it could have set the bar pretty high for any spider-flicks that followed. Instead we get the occasional glimpse, a few deaths, and a couple of scenes of tension before the action-packed finale which, thankfully, saves it.

    Had David Cronenberg (who, strangely, went on to direct a movie called Spider) or John Carpenter tackled the story we might have had a classic, as it is Arachnophobia is merely mindless entertainment with the familiar Amblin touch.
  • Fredichi28 July 2000
    Unlike Dean Devlin and Roland Emerich (who are coincidently making a film about spiders;big spiders) Frank Marshal and Kathleen Kennedy are the authorized Spielberg rip-off, having spent many years as producers of Spielberg productions. Unfortunately, they decided to try doing movies on their own and this is the silly result.

    Where as Spielberg movies are high concept films done with a lot of flash and style. The Marshal Kennedy films are low concept with some flash and borrowed, left-over style. Film making by the book only. Arachnophobia is far better than Congo; their next effort but that isn't saying much. The movie is bland and incredibly forgettable. Why? Not much happens. You can get all the subtlety and nuances from this one line description:

    Big Amazonian spider hitches a ride to small town U.S.A and gives birth to infestation of killer spiders.

    That's what happens. That's all.

    No attempt to add any complexities. Or rather there are sad attempts that fail miserably and end up feeling like no attempt at all. Nothing is funny here. It could of been and should of been. All this plays on is the basic fears of spiders. Big whoop. If your scared of spiders you won't wanna watch this. So who is this movie for? People who aren't scared of spiders? If so there is little to keep us interested. There is a lot of talk from the Spider expert telling how scary it is. But who cares. It's a bunch of spiders. Granted a whole lot of them. Whoooooooooooo cares. The giant infestation of insect movies were better in the seventies. That's where they should stay. Look out moths! Look out worms! Look out roaches!

    Just doesn't sound scary.
  • Making a comedy about killer spiders is a pretty ambitious plan, because killer spiders (even fictional breeds) make me feel somewhat uncomfortable. Just look at the popcorn scene and you'll know what I'm talking about, that's just incredibly creepy. The weird scientists and the goofy exterminator give some kind of comic relief but argh, there are the spiders again. The best scene in the entire movie is probably the showdown between our main guy (a rather bland Jeff Daniels) and the villains, because that's the scene where they actually start doing something about them. That's pretty much my pet peeve with this movie, there isn't really that much action, and eventually it feels like it's over before it has started. Nobody bothers to fight the spiders until the last ten minutes, which tends to make the movie a tad boring. Very creepy though.
  • O.K. so this film has some good special effects and has few good shocks. But how can anyone enjoy a movie where the guy who is supposed to be the hero (Ross Jennings as played by Jeff Daniels) is such a smarmy, revolting creep? If the characters of Ross Jennings and his revolting family are some screenwriters idea of likeable characters, I don't wanna know what they would consider unlikeable. My biggest disappointment was that they the Jennings family didn't get wiped out. It also doesn't help by the fact Jeff Daniels idea of showing emotion is by exaggerated mugging. This was the first time I ever felt like walking out on movie.

    Sorry, for my money I'll watch TARANTULA (1955) or THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954) next time I wanna see a killer bug movie.
  • What is the difference between this movie and woofers in the tradition of "The Giant Spider Invasion" ? MONEY ! It seems that if somebody made a 50 millions $ remake of "Robot Monster", everybody would find it great. Here, after a very beautiful and imaginative prologue, we're in for Disney cute-clean fodder, young-couple-settles-in-a-new-home-but-some-monsters-lurks trifle where the cliffhangers (first death, second death, false scare) seems be straight out of a scriptwriter's manuel ("scriptwriting for doofs" ?) And it is almost as scary as a rerun of "Little house in the prairie". Fortunately, John Goodman was in it, in another one of his gigantic performance. This guy could play any role and still be fascinating (well. except Superman, maybe.)
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