Arachnophobia is the first scary movie I remember watching. As a person who has phobias – snakes, talking on the phone, the idea of second Trump term – I really felt Dr. Ross’s fear. The creepy crawlies were just as creepy 29 years later. What I didn’t remember about Arachnophobia is how funny it is. Margaret, the teacher, drops a pretty sick burn in the first ten minutes of the movie and it just keeps going from there.
Dr. Jennings (Jeff Daniels) and his wife Molly (Harley Jane Kozak) are so funny together and totally relationship goals. I probably missed it the first time around because I was 8 and terrified. Also, this is 100% me opening boxes of cereal until the end of time.
I mean, you have no clue what’s in there. Maybe it’s Boo Berry. Maybe it’s a vampire spider that will kill you in literally seconds and is impervious to the methods of John Goodman. I, however, am not. John Goodman was, and continues to be, a damn delight. I’m happier just knowing he exists in the world. He is our collective dad. And Sir Patrick Stewart is our collective grandpa. So, you know, we all turn out well-balanced. We know how to enjoy pizza and cheap beer as well as a cup of Earl Grey before turning in early with a good book.
Anyway, back to Arachnophobia. So, a man who seemed to not even skim the job description before taking the job, ends up in Venezuela working with a spider expert. Our dude gets bitten by a highly venomous spider and dies pretty much immediately. Unfortunately, he’d announced to everyone that he loved football and he also didn’t feel well. They thought the fever got him. They box him up and send him home. It’s just a shame that one of the spiders hitched a ride in the coffin. It’s like if Fivel were terrifying, y’all.
The spider gets out of the coffin and, thanks to a bird, gets carried off to the country. He sets up shop in the Jennings’ barn where he makes babies and plans world domination. It could happen, y’all. Truly. These spiders are no joke.
Dr. Jennings is new in town and no one trusts him. It’s weird because Jeff Daniels has the type of face I always trust. Dr. Jennings also have a paralyzing fear of spiders. After seeing these Venezuelan guys in action, I don’t blame him. He suspects spiders are behind the recent deaths in town and gets on the horn with the spider specialist. And the exterminator (John Goodman).
The gang discovers the nest and let out a collective “Awwwwwwwwww!” when they see it’s just a million of these guys.
I’m kidding. It is a horror filled nightmarescape. If you haven’t seen this movie, you’re in for a treat. It’s tense, funny, and full of just the right amount of flutes.
Y’all, I’ve really enjoyed sharing some of my favorite ’90s horror films with you. I have one more – my absolute favorite – coming on Thursday.