Directed by Ellory Elkayem, starring David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scarlett Johansson and Scott Terra.
Let's be honest: it doesn't matter who appears in this movie, it doesn't matter if they love spiders or hate them, it doesn't matter if the dialogue is clunky and it doesn't matter if the story has holes. All that matters is that the one-liners are good and the spiders are great. Ellory Elkayem take a bow, you score on both counts.
An all-screaming, all-winking homage to 50's B-Movies, 'Eight-Legged Freaks' give us the three classic plot staples: spiders, chemicals and the small town. Drifter Chris (Arquette) comes back home, keen to get his late dad's disused mine up and running and win back town sheriff and single mum Sam (Wuhrer). But when the truck, driven by the suitably careless good ol' boy, manages to bounce an incredibly toxic barrel of waste right next to the ideally located spider farm, Chris and Sam have to ditch the romantic scenes and get the shotguns out.
With films titles like 'Larger Than Life' and 'They Nest' on his CV, no-one could ever accuse New Zealander Elkayem of not being a monster fan. But enthusiasm only gets you so far and the biggest victory of his Hollywood debut is to keep you stuck to the seat even though you've seen it all before.
Arquette is no-one's idea of a leading man but he doesn't have to be because Elkayem knows who his real stars are. Very big, very loud and smarter than just about everyone onscreen, the spiders whoop it up with a manic glee not seen since Joe Dante's classic 'Gremlins'. It's all done at breakneck pace, but there's always time for the gags and to celebrate or send up other films.
And while you can argue that Johansson should've had more to do in the movie or that the ending needed a much bigger bang, isn't it worth paying into any film that features a talking parrot writing off 'The Sixth Sense' with just a single line?
Furry, fun and guaranteed to have you squinting nervously at the plughole.