Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a weakness for monster movies. Particularly giant monster movies.
Now you don’t watch monster movies for their dramatic depth or their literate scripts. You watch them for thrills and chills and some absurd fun.
We need to be absolutely clear here: Spiders isn’t great cinema. It wasn’t meant to be. But it is reasonably proficient from a B-movie perspective and gives us a healthy helping of cheesy giant arachnid action. A secret experiment on the Space Shuttle goes horribly wrong and Majestic 12 lands it at a secret base to eliminate the evidence just as an aspiring young girl reporter with an obsession with flying saucer conspiracies arrives to investigate the base. Before you know it, there’s a giant spider on the loose, eliminating everyone in the complex.
I’m sure that sounds mostly familiar, but there are a few nice touches here: as the reporter and her friends explore the underground labs, they stumble across all sorts of preserved bits and pieces including an alien baby in a jar and a frozen astronaut from the mythical “Apollo 18” mission.
Nor does the giant spider action ever get stale as it goes through several different sizes from Tarantula to St. Bernard to Mini Cooper to the final version — big enough to go on a rampage through a city — that we’ve been expecting all along.
Okay, the spiders look very CGI most of the time, the villain is over the top, the gore is plentiful and icky, and the overall tone is a shade on the dark side.
But, what the heck, the story has enough twists and unexpected turns, enough odd details and even a surprise or two to keep it all interesting. You really can’t ask for much more from a B-movie except perhaps a giant monster.
And we have that, too.
Even if there is only one giant spider at a time, despite the title.