A Russian satellite crash lands in New York City and causes a minor level of chaos for the city, but not nearly as much as what was on the satellite: a mutant breed of super spider. These spiders start small in terms of physical appearance and location, as they begin by taking over the subways then, eventually, they move on to bigger and better things, like the city itself. All the while, as the spiders begin to overtake the city, they are also continuously growing in size, resulting in an all out war between the oversized spiders and the United State military.
The government/military plays the situation off as a plague to hide the fact that these super spiders are indeed intended to be a part of some sort of military weapons program. This stereotypical plot point is spearheaded by the stereotypical ego/power tripping military jerk, Col. Jenkins (William Hope), who will stop at nothing, whether it be kidnapping, lying and murder, to ensure their mission is not compromised. You know, the type of character that you simply know is going to get his just desserts at the eight legs of the spiders by the film’s end.
The first half of Spiders (not in) 3D is played off like a high tension thriller, focusing its sights on the exploits of the military and the film’s lead characters, Jason and Rachel (Patrick Muldoon and Christa Campbell), as they do whatever they can to prevent this super spider issue from becoming worse than it already has. Furthermore, both Jason and Rachel are trying to get their daughter back, who has been “quarantined” as a result of the military cover-up. While I appreciate the fact that the first half tries to build up the characters and give the viewer something to invest in, the end result is a pretty slow and dragged-out first half.
When watching a movie such as Spiders, one would assume, therefore expect, to see some serious spider action, and that is exactly what is lacking in the first act and a half of this film. As a result, the movie can be a little boring at times, relegating it to no more than background noise for smartphone use. With that being said, the second half of the film does pick up fairly well, which is the point when the spiders break free from the subways, attack the city, and an all-out war between these mutant spiders and the US military ensues.
Spiders was helmed by Tibor Takács, who is most notable for directing The Gate. Takács has an interestingly varied career in film and television, but he has been down similar roads as that of Spiders over the past few years with films like Ice Spiders, Mega Snake and Mansquito peppered into his résumé. Regardless of his mixed career, Takács’ is certainly a competent and experienced director, and this shows in Spiders.
While the film is lacking in terms of overall entertainment, it is well made and has a pretty decent level of production value considering the type of movie that it is. On the other hand, however, the film does feature some pretty bad CGI work. It’s certainly not the worst I‘ve seen, but the computer generated graphics seem to get worse as the film goes on and as the spiders grow in size.
What might hurt the film most is the fact that it takes itself too seriously, and as a result, and outside of a few moments, it’s not very fun, forklift chase scene or not. Spiders is certainly watchable and somewhat painless to sit through, but I’d prefer this type of film to simply be a little cheesier. A laugh is always better than indifference, if you ask me; even if that laugh comes from a place of embarrassment. Maybe seeing it in 3D would have been better?