May 2, 2023

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: Arachnophobia

Just like the “Because You Watched…” lane that pops up on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

Werewolves Within is a classic mashup of two beloved genres–the monster horror flick and the whodunit. Much like John Carpenter’s The Thing, the characters and the audience are in the dark for much of the movie about what or who is killing everyone. The obvious choice for a classic whodunit that Now Playing Podcast still has yet to cover is an easy one – Clue. But that’s too easy. What if instead of focusing on the mystery aspects of this movie, we focus on another–the cheesy horror-comedy that Werewolves Within aspires to be? And in that line of thinking, my mind went to one place–the 1990 B-movie, Arachnophobia. Picture this: Jeff Daniels is a fresh-faced doctor who moved his family to a small town in California, only for his town to be overrun by deadly spiders imported from Venezuela. Now add to this plot the amusing fact that Daniels has arachnophobia–a crippling fear of spiders, and he now has to fight these deadly critters. Hijinks ensue.

On top of all this, there is perhaps peak John Goodman at his zaniest as the local exterminator with full canisters of poison gas. Amusing special effects, gross, dead bodies galore, and a laughable climax that will both make you scoff and make your skin crawl. This is not high cinema by any means, but if you found yourself laughing at some of the quirky characters and one-liners of Werewolves Within, I can’t see how you won’t be laughing with and at Arachnophobia.

Besides, spiders are much creepier than werewolves, right?

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