Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

Directed by Ellory Elkayem

Science Fiction | Comedy | Thriller

Most recently watched by sleestakk


The residents of a rural mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of SUVs. It’s then up to mining engineer Chris McCormack and Sheriff Sam Parker to mobilize an eclectic group of townspeople, including the Sheriff’s young son, Mike, her daughter, Ashley, and paranoid radio announcer Harlan, into battle against the bloodthirsty eight-legged beasts.

Rated PG-13 | Length 99 minutes


Scarlett Johansson | Rick Overton | Eileen Ryan | Doug E. Doug | David Arquette | Leon Rippy | Frank Welker | Jay Arlen Jones | Matt Czuchry | Kari Wuhrer | Scott Terra | John Ennis | Riley Smith | Jack Moore | Tom Noonan | Jane Edith Wilson | Ryan C. Benson | Roy Gaintner | John Storey | David Earl Waterman | Matt Holwick | Don Champlin | Terey Summers | Randi Klein | Bruiser

Viewing Notes

Only available for rent or purchase on the major streaming platforms so I had to get from the library. Thought I might own this one (picked up used at a BB or Hollywood Video) but nope. Little known fact: I rented this back in the day when I had a BB account… well, I guess I still have a BB account but BB is gone. Anyways, I rented it but never watched it and had to return it. It was when I had one of those monthly plans where I could get a different movie every day if I wanted.

So why this movie now? Welp, in the conversion lead up to the Academy Awards it was mentioned that our Scarlett Johansson is in this movie. WTF I had no idea but it’s true. I of course forget this detail by the time I received the movie and decided to fire it up tonight. But when her name appears in the opening credits it all came back to me. Wow she is really in this movie. A movie where the two primary actors are David Arquette and Kari Wuhrer (❤️). Also a movie that follows ScarJo’s appearance in the excellent Ghost World. Wow I never knew this and now I wonder why she has not been asked about it in (recent) interviews during her MCU run. Like, if I was sitting with her on The Marriage Story press tour, I’d be like, “hey so what was it like being chased by giant spiders??” Just curious what she thinks about the film now. I think she was 16yo when she made the film and she portrays a 16yo in the movie… altho she seems older than 16. She was 17 when the movie was released in July 2002. Bananas!

It’s weird b/c it’s really like watching a mini-version of the Scarlett we have today. She’s pretty much the same but smaller? Fucking wild.

Addendum: OH YEAH. I’m listening to the commentary track now w/the filmmakers and the initial reason this came up on my TL was bc the original name for the movie was “Arac Attack” but since it was right after 9/11 and the US was going to war with Iraq, they changed the name!! That little fact is what brought it into the conversion then it was Scarlett is in the film. Okay, I’m all sorted now.

So the movie ain’t great. But it’s not terrible. It’s sorta kinda a throwback to those 1950s radiated giant monster flicks. Well, not sorta kinda. It is a total lift of that idea but mixed with TREMORS and the GREMLINS in the execution. Doesn’t quite work when mixed but I appreciate the effort and earnestness of everyone involved. The CG VFX are not bad and better than some we still see today. Of course you know it’s all CG but I’ve seen plenty worse post-this movie. I do not care for the jumping spiders b/c they just look like crabs but the rest are great. Negative: they really wanted the spiders to be like Gremlins and that’s no bueno.

It’s funny to view this now… after viewing that more recent flick It Came from the Desert, which it’s almost a total remake of this movie! This is probably more fun b/c of the actors involved. I wish they had gone serious w/the story b/c none of the humor works for me. It just makes it all really dumb. But I have always loved Kari (from her MTV days) and why I originally rented the movie. She’s great here in what was probably her last big feature. tbh I thought this movie was a mid-to-late 90s flick *because* Kari is one of the leads. Glad she was still leading films into the naughts. David Arquette is fine but not really a good hero actor. Scarlett is just fun being a teenager.


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