This giggly big-budget horror film manages to mix thrills and laughs better than most and features nifty special effects from Chris Walas and Matt Sweeney. Arachnophobia is a fun throwback to the bug films of the 1950s and 1970s, but lacks either the Cold War paranoia of the former or the ecological awareness of the latter. Thus, the film blissfully stays at the creepy-crawly level without even the rudimentary depth of the classic ecokill movies. It may not be as campily enjoyable as Kingdom of the Spiders, but it has its moments. Director Frank Marshall and the cast (especially John Goodman as a gung-ho exterminator) are obviously having fun with the material, and the photography is marvelous. This is a great movie for Halloween, and, despite some mild gore, it is fun for children as well. This is the scariest spider movie ever made, however, so if you have a weakness for furry eight-legged horrors with sharp venomous fangs, be forewarned.
by Robert Firsching review