Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Arachnophobia Frank Marshall '1990'

It was almost like a present surprise to be able to watch such a classic good film, after all the cold weather that we could sit down in the lecture theatre, even if it is one about crazy amounts of spiders. Thinking back to the other films in the B-Movie genre, it does seem to have quite alot of relevance, and could easily fit in to that context. however this film appeared to be much more than just a bug film.

In regards to the story, it seems very plausible, with the discovery of a new species deep in the Venezuelan  jungle (a scene which deeply felt reminiscent of King Kong). The expedition, made in the name of research and studies, is introduced to the story and context through the view of a newcomer to the team, which sadly ends abruptly. This new species (a deadly venomous one at that) decided to hitch a ride to small town American suburbia (a seemingly commonplace setting for the threat invasion).

These events lead to the opening of the story, as we switch roles to the lead character, on their new switch from big city, to small town suburbia (the same one where the spider arrives) and from that point on, we are constantly greeted with 'squrimish'  near misses, playing on all the cliche idea's we have about creepy crawlies never mind spiders, such as the shower, behind the toilet, in shoes, in bed, (in particular the scene when the main character imagines a coat hanger as a huge spider) and although there did make me want to look away, I really enjoyed it (although it constantly made me feel itchy hahaha)

After some time, when the death of the victims to spider bites began to toll, the discovery of the cause of death was finally brought to light (after some coincidental cases which seemed to frame the main character of malpractice). The man who accused him of this ironically, was the one to prove his theory in his death, allowing the the main character to get to grips with what was going on. After the discovery however, it took some time for him to be taken seriously again (a cry wolf element which this films seems play on quite humorously, helping with the 'squrimish' reaction as the unsuspecting become the prey of the spiders.

The most horrific, yet enjoyable scene in the film, was inside the house, where the spiders seemed to be crawling out almost chasing them, throughout the house, a very epic and tense moment in the film, leading to the final scene in the basement, which was equally as good. Saying that, the effects of the animatronics/puppetry, seemed very real, even 20 years on, although there was obvious moments, in regards to CG, I really don't think you can replace the physicality of  some things, adding that extra part of horror.

Finally, what I took from this film is, it's basically challenging the viewer about there views and feelings towards Spiders, by channelling these feelings through the main characters fear of them. Although it does feel very reminiscent of the B-Movie genre, and obviously has taken some inspiration from that, it feel incredibly well done in regards to taking that now 'comic element referring back to those films, and using it as an advantage by making the element more obvious (hence it being referred to in advertisement as a thrill-omedy).

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