Spiders is a 2013 remake of the original movie made in 2000, although the remake goes off in its own crazy direction. Although critics have been hard on this remake because of the lackluster acting, tired storyline, and the crummy CGI effects, Spiders turns out to be a pretty good flick for fans of giant monster movies like 20 Million Miles to Earth, Gamera, and Godzilla.
An asteroid tears apart an abandoned Soviet space station, sending it plummeting toward Earth. Unbeknownst to anyone, the space station was actually an experimental facility for the development of mutant spiders (you see, their webbing, properly modified, could be a boon for industry). Making things worse is that these mutated spiders have now somehow acquired intelligence from an alien menace, making them far more dangerous.
Anyway, the space station crashes into a subway tunnel, where the spiders get busy building a nest. The New York City Transit Authority is on the case, but the officers don’t stand a chance. The spiders overwhelm these victims, as they need them to host their eggs. As the spiders begin to grow larger and larger, a Queen Spider makes the scene—and this spider is much, much bigger that anything seen before.
The human component of the movie consists of Transit Authority supervisor Jason (played by Patrick Muldoon of 2007’s Ice Spiders), who must battle the spiders while trying to rescue his daughter Emily from the menace. Along for the ride is Jason’s ex-wife Rachel (Christa Campbell of 2008’s Day of the Dead). The spider conspiracy gets even worse with the presence of Col. Jenkins (William Hope), who wishes to capture the spiders to use them as a military weapon.
The best part of Spiders is of course the spiders themselves, which are produced using CGI. I found that I really enjoyed the sequences in which the Queen Spider does battle with the American military. I also really liked the smaller spiders, which reminded me of movies like Godzilla vs. Destroyah. The movie pays homage to old-school giant monster movies, and for that alone fans of genre should give it a try.
However, Spiders is far from an enjoyable flick. The acting is often bland, the script is contrived and often feels forced, and the CGI for the spiders is not all that great. The CGI presents a problem in that it often works best during night sequences, but because of this many of the scenes are simply too dark. The blandness of the performances must be emphasized, as the characters lacked intensity (they are battling giant spiders, after all!) and almost looked befuddled at times. The only exception was Emily (Sydney Sweeney of John Carpenter’s The Ward), who did a good job emoting horror.
I marginally recommend Spiders because of the Queen Spider sequences. The problem for hardcore fans will be wading through all the human talking sequences and waiting patiently for the spiders to show up again.