Found on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Arachnicide. The tagline says something about a group of special ops (L9, whatever that is) who break up a drug cartel and then go find a giant spider.
In the future, we’ll start doing these on YouTube so you can get our full excitement. Or anguish as the case may be. In the case of Arachnicide, it was anguish.
First off, the movie is shot well. The cinematography is well done, camera and color is good, its obvious they have a professional behind the camera. For the most part. The sound though is an entirely different beast.
The voices all sound like they are coming from right in front of you. Whether its a person over a radio, across the room, in an elevator, it all sounds like someone standing right in front of the microphone. It is distracting at best. Then, the “Special Ops” guys all talk with a gruff voice somewhere between a tough TV cop, Yoda, and a Muppet. They don’t sound at all like normal people talking in normal voices. Its as if someone told them to sound tough, so they all choice the same cadence and voice and accent. Its awful.
But back to the video! There are montages. A lot of montages. Way too many montages. There is one in the beginning of all sorts of random sciencey looking stuff. Cells, DNA, atoms, amoeba, blood cells, brain cells, random cells that have nothing to do with anything. But it looks high tech. Then there is the “Lets get ready for the mission” montage. I saw seven men put camouflage on their noses. And four put on their gun belts. And maybe some more do some other things, but there were maybe four actions, just done over and over. And over.
Now the pacing. Its slow. Very slow. There is no suggestion of a giant spider at all. I’m writing this as I watch it, and 50 minutes in, no spider. Wait! I saw some spiders, little ones though, not a big city killer spider. So we’ll see. Okay, I take that back, 52 minutes in and there are finally large spiders. I’m not impressed.
The limited CGI is adequate, but not exceptional. The spiders look like CGI spiders, not real creatures, but I wasn’t expecting much. With the budget this film likely had, most of it was spent on other graphics, not the spiders. They made the satellite look good, the sky view of the action on the ground was not at all synced with the real footage, but at least it looked okay. The spiders though look horrible.
On an aside, there is one thing about monster movies that I find hilarious. Growling insects. As far as I know, bugs don’t have lungs. I think spiders breath through some book-like organ. But they also don’t have vocal cords. And yet, they growl. I’m not sure what sound I’d expect a giant insect to make to seem realistic and terrifying at the same time, but its not a growl that sounds like it came from a large cat.
They do chitter a bit as they run, and damn do they move quickly. I can’t see how something as large as a horse and made with an exoskeleton can run like that, but hey, its suspension of disbelief. If only that damn sound issue was fixed.
A note: I’ve never been in the military or any paramilitary organization or training. But I know walking in a straight line is bad. And I know to point a light around a corner before just haphazardly walking around it. I know to look before entering a room, especially if I think there are giant killer spiders.
Oh, the shrieks. Spiders shriek now too, not just growl.
Let’s stop writing to watch the movie and see how it ends. Maybe it’ll save itself.
No one needs to reload. Apparently these soldiers have those magazines with one million bullets. Or magical reloading guns. I think I’ve seen one soldier shoot the same spider four times. But at different time intervals, so it almost looks like its a different spider, even though its really just the same shot used over and over again. OMG. Someone reloaded! There is something weird going on. Sometimes its real footage of the soldiers shooting, but sometimes, it looks like a bad video game, not even PS3 quality.
Now this is supposed to be set in Albania. I’ve never been there, but I don’t imagine it goes from dusk to full sunlight in a matter of seconds. Or from wild, untamed forest full of giant spiders to well manicured bushes for no reason. Maybe it does, I could be wrong. And then there are the spider webs that are only sticky when the plot demands. And then they are in, what, a field of sunflowers? Where the hell did that come from? This looks suspiciously like central Illinois.
Its over. Dear god, its over. That was awful. Don’t waste your time. Please, I beg of you, do not watch this atrocity. Its not even worth it from a comical standpoint, its just plain bad.