When unabashed B-movie throwback Eight Legged Freaks came out in 2002, it fared about as well with critics as you would imagine a movie featuring David Arquette fighting giant mutated spiders would be. A sequel was originally in the works (via Moviehole), but considering one never materialized, it appears that the film failed to garner enough attention and was left for dead. That being said, anybody who has affection for good-old-fashioned creature features will find a lot to love in this effective action-comedy-horror.
Set in a small town in Arizona, the film’s simple premise — a chemical spill causes a collection of exotic spiders to grow to monstrous size — is heightened thanks to effectively spine tingling set pieces and committed performances from Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, and a young Scarlett Johansson. The titular eight legged freaks are brought to life with some better-than-average early 2000s CGI, and while the effects aren’t going to blow you away, the spiders themselves are still remarkably unnerving. You don’t need to be an arachnophobe to feel a tingle on your spine when you see the giant, prodding legs of one push its way through an unsuspecting victim’s bedroom window or when a hoard of them comes flooding into a shopping mall where the residents of the besieged town have gathered to make a final stand against the creatures.
So, before you press play on Annabelle Comes Home or Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, consider giving one of these underrated horror gems a shot.