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Rated PG-13
Copyright 2002 Warner Bros.
Reviewed by InformationGeek on 12 February 2009

The Characters:  

  • Chris McCormick - David Arquette! Our main hero! He previously lived in Prosperity but has come back to town in order to reopen the mines, hoping to discover the gold his father saw before he died. He has a thing for the sheriff. He can't seem to be able confess his feelings to her because of so many distractions, until he finally gets a very odd moment to tell her.
  • Sheriff Sam Parker - Our female lead! She is a single mother of two, and happens to be one of the only two police officers in this whole town. She's a pretty good shot with a gun.
  • Mike Parker - Sam's son. He has a fascination with spiders, and is pretty darn smart as well. In fact, compared to a lot of these characters, he is a super genius! He is the first person to discover that the spiders have grown large, and was friends with the local spider merchant.
  • Ashley Parker - Sam's teenage daughter. She likes to get into trouble and rebel against her mother. Her boyfriend is the mayor's son. Also, don't mess with her when she has her trusty taser.
  • Harlan Griffiths - Doug E. Doug! An UFO enthusiast and a radio jock as well! Surprisingly enough, a lot of cops, paramedics, and firefighters living outside of the town listen to his show and actually believe him.
  • Deputy Pete Williams - The only other police officer in Prosperity besides the sheriff. His cat is eaten by a spider early in the film. His mustache is really distracting though. He's good with a chainsaw.
  • Wade - The town's mayor. Apparently, he spends a lot of money on things he believe will benefit the town, including the town's mall and, strangely, an ostrich farm.
  • Bret - Wade's son and Ashley's boyfriend. He's a bit of a jerk, and he's pretty good on a motorbike, especially when he is outrunning a group of giant jumping spiders.
  • Gladys - Chris' aunt. She smokes a lot and has a small dog which becomes spider chow. She is saved by Chris near the end of the film and gives up smoking.
  • Joshua - He runs a spider collection store with a couple of illegal spiders in it. How this guy stays in business is beyond me, since his only customer is Mike. He also accidently created the giant spiders by feeding his inventory radioactive crickets. He becomes spider chow.
  • Mark, aka the Guy in the Baseball Cap - He is never named in the film, but I must say, he's awesome! He is the only person to survive an onslaught of giant jumping and trapdoor spiders at the diner when it is attacked. Plus, he outsmarts one of the trapdoor spiders by dropping a large ladder on it. He even arms himself with a cool crossbow.
  • Giant Spiders - Created by eating crickets that were drenched in toxic waste. Despite there being many kinds of spiders, they all seem to work together, strangely enough, which would never happen in real life. Some are shot, but most of them are killed when the mine explodes.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

You know, this film has a lot of clichés from other monster or horror movies. So many that this thing doesn't really give me the feeling of being original. After doing this review, I just get the feeling a lot of the stuff in the film is recycled ideas from other movies. It is certainly was an interesting experience though, for being mostly being a bunch of recycled ideas from better films...

The film starts off in the middle of the night or early in the morning (I can't tell) with a truck driver driving through the desert. All of a sudden, the driver spies a rabbit in the middle of the road and swerves to avoid it. Unfortunately, when the driver swerves, he accidently loses one of the toxic waste barrels he is carry on his truck. The barrel tumbles off the road, down a hill, and crashes into a small pond. Why do I have the feeling this happened before in another movie?

Moving right along, it becomes daytime and we spy old Joshua collecting a bunch of crickets from the pond with the toxic barrel in it; how he didn't see the barrel is beyond me. With the crickets in hand, he heads back to his spider farm to feed them to his spiders. Crickets from a pond with toxic waste in it being fed to a bunch of spiders? If we switch out the crickets for dead aliens and switch out the spiders for mosquitoes, we got something similar to the movie Mosquito. Like I said earlier, this film seems like it has been recycled.

So, Joshua starts feedings the crickets to the spiders, which grow incredibly fast. A tarantula (Not a giant one, yet!) attacks him, after escaping from its glass container, crawling up his back, and then biting him. Umm...shouldn't he have felt that thing crawling up his back? I would have! So, the guy freaks out after it bites him, and he let's loose all the other spiders by running into their containers and breaking them open. This releases jumping spiders, trapdoor spiders, a giant female orb-weaver spider along with a bunch of little ones, and funnel-web spiders. Yep, this is a problem waiting to happen.

Once again, we flash forward another week into the future. We see Chris McCormick, a previous resident, returning to the town in hopes of finding the gold his father saw in the town's mine. While he convinces the town to search the mines for the gold at a local town meeting, Mike, the sheriff's son and probably Joshua's only customer, goes to see Joshua. He discovers the store abandoned, covered in cobwebs, and possibly a part of a giant spider's leg in a mine behind the store. From all of this, he determines that Joshua has been killed and the spiders have grown larger, which mostly is a threat to the community.

As he heads home with the leg in tow, he gets a ride from Chris and decides to fill him in on the situation. Chris doesn't believe him at first (who would, anyways?), until he discovers a bunch of spiders have kidnapped his aunt who lives in the town. I like to mention at this point the how weird it is that the spiders suddenly grew so large over what I suppose is a 3 week period. How did toxic waste make these spiders grow so large in such a short time span? It took many years for the ants in "Them" to grow huge, and that was even due to radiation! Also, why didn't or haven't the crickets grown as large as the spiders? They were completely exposed to that toxic waste, while the spiders just got secondhand exposure to the waste from eating the crickets.

While this goes on, a small sub story takes place between the sheriff's daughter Ashley, her boyfriend Bret, and their romance. After he fails to put the moves on her a bit later in the movie she shocks him with her taser, steals his truck, and heads back to her home. As soon as she takes off, a bunch of giant jumping spiders come along and attack him and his friends at their motorbike hangout. He is the only one who manages to escape during a pretty cool chase scene. During the chase, the town's main phones lines are knocked out when the giant spiders run into a gasoline tanker. Again, a town losing its ability to call the outside world feels so familiar.

So, with some convincing from Chris and Mike, and her daughter nearly getting eaten alive by a big spider, Sam finally realizes that there are indeed giant spiders hanging out in town. Since the telephone lines are out, they decide to go to Harlan, the town's UFO believer and radio personality, to use his radio to warn everybody about the giant spiders invading their town. Everyone is instructed to head to the local mall for protection, since it is made of concrete. So they are going to hide in a mall from giant spiders that want to eat them? Switch out spiders for zombies and you get Dawn of the Dead!

Another thing I'd like to point out: there seem to be way more people running away from the spiders than there were at that town meeting in the beginning of the film. Where the heck did they all come from?

Anyhow, the spiders break into the mall and the humans have a face off against the monsters. They are soon forced to retreat into the basement, which just so happens to lead directly into the town's mines. They run into Bret (during the chase he escaped into the mines to lose the spiders; in case you care), and they find the remains of quite a lot of the citizens of the town.

Thinking there is a possibility that his aunt could still be alive, Chris splits with everyone to look for her. She is somehow still alive. He finds her wrapped in a cocoon, despite the fact that everyone else wrapped up in a cocoon is dead. Chris saves his aunt and the remaining population of the town by blowing up the mines with the rest of the spiders in it as he and his aunt escape. That's pretty much it. Oh sure, Chris and Sam kiss in the end, and Harlan tells people on the radio that Chris reopened the mines in search of the gold he saw before the place blew up, but that's pretty much it.

Anyways, there seem to be lots of similarities between this film and a lot of others. This film also reeks of flaws, such as the fact that every single spider in the film works together to kill the people, when in reality spiders would never work together. With all of these flaws, recycled plot ideas, some clear problems, and some dumb moments, I can't say this is a good film for everyone. What saves it from being a lot lower is some good CGI effects for the spiders, some decent humor, and a few nice action scenes. Though, you could do a lot better.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Giant spiders love eating parrots, cats, ostriches, small dogs, and the occasional mounted moose head.
  • Parrots love the movie "The Six Sense."
  • Spiders bleed green goo.
  • Toxic waste makes your hair grow back!
  • Crossbows, chainsaws, sledgehammers, pitchforks, and similar things can be found inside of a mall.
  • Spiders hate perfume.
  • Spiders are flammable.
  • Spiders can conceal themselves inside of a tent.
  • When some windows break, they don't make a sound.
  • With the right connections and a couple of bribes, you can obtain illegal spiders from Brazil.
  • You can blow up a mine easily by breaking an electric bulb, putting in a packet of matches, and turning on the power.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - Past 3 days? Didn't it say it has been a week since he discovered those things?
  • 10 mins - Two weeks later and now you finally find that stupid barrel of toxic waste?
  • 18 mins - Hey! Did that cat just say no?!
  • 25 mins - If that guy was wrapped up so tightly in sticky cobwebs that a human being couldn't possibly wiggle out of, how come his shoe fell off?
  • 30 mins - Hey! Is that the movie "Them" on the screen?!
  • 40 mins - That was awesome. What a kick!
  • 51 mins - Wait a minute! When did that window break?! I didn't hear it break in the background! Plus, why doesn't he try jumping out of it to escape, instead of unlocking the door?
  • 73 mins - Funny, that line used to be the original title of the film.
  • 88 mins - Always remember to put on your helmet when being chased by giant spiders.
  • 96 mins - Oh sure, now you finally get a chance to tell her you love her!


  • Harlan: "There's no way you're telling me that thing back there was from earth!"
    Chris: "All right! They're giant spiders from Mars! You happy?!"
    Harlan: "No."
  • Harlan: "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't following me!"
  • Mike: "Take these!"
    Chris: "Perfume?"
    Mike: "Well, spiders have a highly developed sense of smell. The perfume might confuse them."
    Harlan: "Great, if we die, we die smelling nice."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note eightlegged1.wav Mike: "OK, the situation is this: my friend Joshua sells exotic spiders. They've been growing bigger and bigger over the last couple weeks, and now they've grown so big that they've broken out of their cages and headed down into the mine shafts. Joshua's nowhere to be found, and I think they might have killed them. But, you're not going to believe me, because I'm the kid, and they never believe the kid."
Green Music Note eightlegged2.wav Harlan: "People are saying, you know, it's coyotes and its wolves, but we know the truth. We all know about those cows in New England, and the probe...the anal probe. Yeah, let's talk about the probe. Let's talk about the anal probe. What is that? I mean, what are they looking for? I mean, it's just wrong!"
Green Music Note eightlegged3.wav Sam: "Now, believe me I know how this sounds, but you must trust me on this. I want everyone to arm themselves immediately. I repeat, giant spiders are all over the town."
Diner customer: "Did she just say 'giant spiders?'"
Waitress: "That's just Harlan's show."
Green Music Note eightlegged4.wav Chris: "Get back, YOU EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS!"
Harlan: "Oh, my God, there's so many!"
Chris: "Harlan, get up here!"
Harlan: "I'm afraid of heights."
Chris: "Heights! Are you afraid of spiders?"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipeightlegged1.mpg - 7.0m
Bret and his dirt bike friends encounter the jumping spiders.

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