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Eight Legged Freaks (2002) is a Hilarious Arachnid Dark Comedy

'Eight Legged Freaks' excels as a horror comedy

By Marielle SabbagPublished 4 months ago 3 min read

You gotta believe me - gigantic spiders are attacking the town!

Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 film. A small town is under attack by gigantic mutated spiders. The residents fight for their lives and defend themselves against the deadly arachnids before they invade the world.

I am not a fan of spiders but I watched this film anyway. I ended up having a really good time! Whatever happened to horror comedies? Eight Legged Freaks is the only spider horror-comedy to do it right. The film takes itself seriously (to an extent), incorporates cool special effects, and mocks itself for its ridiculous concept.

The cast of Eight Legged Freaks knew they were in a horror comedy so they had the best time making their performances over-the-top and as silly as they wanted. The characters are believable and have realistic personalities. There’s always someone you can relate to in a small town.

David Arquette is a genuinely funny actor. He does a good job as the bumbling Chris McCormick. This is one of Scarlett Johansson’s early performances, playing a moody teenager. Scott Tera was an excellent child actor. Doug E. Doug provided the best laughs, being the most over-the-top out of anyone.

In some ways, this is a character film. There are several different stories in Eight Legged Freaks. As the townsfolk grapple with the sudden emergence of monstrous arachnids, the film's witty dialogue and comedic moments inject a refreshing lightness into an otherwise tense narrative.

The film spent an extended 7-month period in pre-production for the visual effects crew to finish the special effects for the spiders. That says a lot about how filmmakers cared about this movie. They also wanted spider designs to be accurate. There are spider films that have the worst effects due to very little budget.

While the CGI is noticeable, the spider effects are impressive. They look like real spiders. I don’t want to come across these spiders. The way the spiders move in bounce-jump ruins the scary tone.

A lot happens in Eight Legged Freaks. Ellory Elkayem had his cast go all out. One of the primary reasons why Eight Legged Freaks excels as a horror comedy is its ability to balance genuine scares with well-timed humor. One of my favorite moments will always be Chris telling the town to prepare themselves to which they all start their power tools for the battle.

For the majority of the film’s climax, the story takes place in a mall. There’s a lot one can do in a mall setting. Filmmakers have fun with the setting, adding humorous background moments.

Not all horror films have to be scary films that give viewers goosebumps. Horror comedies are the best. It’s a time to laugh and roll your eyes at how absurd the story is. I wasn’t expecting a couple of good jump scares the first time I watched this film.

Unlike traditional horror films that rely solely on fear and gore, this movie embraces its absurd premise and revels in the hilarity of the situation. Of course, that being said, there are gory moments in this film like when the spiders are killed off. Guts spill out on the floor and splash all over people.

Did you know that the original title of the film was Arac Attack? Thanks to a clever improv by David Arquette we have the famous title for the movie.

Eight Legged Freaks is streaming on HBO. Don’t take it seriously and just enjoy it for what it is. If you’re into creature flicks watch Eight Legged Freaks this October.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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  • Naveed 4 months ago

    I also loved the cast. David Arquette, Scarlett Johansson, and Doug E. Doug are all great in their roles.

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