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Kara, a private nurse and single mother, moves from the big city to the quiet countryside with her two children, 13-year-old Jesse and 8-year-old Cambria, to live with and take care of an elderly man with multiple sclerosis. Things seem normal enough until Jesse discovers a mysterious old relic in the old man's house, leading to unexpected and horrifying things coming to life.Written by
Th daughter's name in this movie is Cambria, which is also the name of the town from the movie Arachnophobia. See more »
What do these markings mean?
You know what a legend is?
Yeah, it's a story.
Well, stories, you tell in a bar. A legend has a spiritual quality to it. Uh, it's ingrained in a culture by being passed down from generation to generation. This particular legend is Maa-Kalaratri. The Dark Mother. She's ancient, before time was time, before humans existed. She is the spider goddess. A creator of worlds, a weaver of destiny. She presides over the time that we humans are given on this earth, and she ...
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A Good Start... A Good Idea... An Average Horror Film...
This film started off so well. A tribal ritual. An ancient artefact. A vengeful primitive daemon. And a raiding party.
Then we're in small-town America and the story changes into your run of the mill terror tale... minus the terror.
This comes down onto the shoulders of the director, Micah Gallo. Even though he had half of his work completed from him - let's face it spiders will send shivers down your spine - he manages to suppress even their creepiness at times. The main problem is, even though he's a good director, horror is not his forte. There are some nice shots and his handling of scenes is good though he doesn't create an atmosphere to creep you out.
I believe the soundtrack is meant to do that. It's a weird cacophony that does little to add to the film but easily annoys the ears.
There is one scene though that should perch you on the seat edge. When the mother of two, Kara Spencer, checks up on her daughter in bed you get a nice sinister shot of the creepy-crawler lying in wait in the dark shadows. In fact, the close-ups of the spider are a little frightening. This could be put down to your own phobias more than the filming. The thing is I cannot figure out if it's CGI or a beautiful macro close-up of an actual arachnid. There are some scenes though where you can easily tell that the computer has taken over from reality. At these times the spider has a flat two-dimensional feel and I lost that fear the other clips gave me. Well, the horrid music was playing and the annoying lightning was flashing like a pervert on speed.
It's that simple to break the tension and eerieness you should be feeling - over stimulate the senses, and not in a good way.
As for the special effects, these should have gone an extra mile. There's a scene where the collector Walter Clark is looking through his library and comes across the story and illustrations regarding the Daemon. It shows the spider Daemon as having a human's head. If this had been incorporated right it could have been a truly fright-enhancing creature. Imagine a human head with spider-eyes and razor-sharp teeth. You could even have hands at the end of each of its legs... Imagination is your only limitation. Lamentably, there's very little imagination throughout the film and story.
The best thing is the relationships between the characters. This is at its most powerful when the cast is in conflict with one another. These scenes I found to be the most relatable and believable. The scene where Jesse argues with his mother, Kara, and gets a slap for his "insolence" is gritty and shocking. However, it's only in these moments that Kara begins to see the truth she's been running from.
I have to say that Arman Darbo, who plays Jesse, is an actor to watch out for. He is probably the strongest performer in the cast. Even the actress, Chloe Perrin, who portrays his younger sister, Cambria, is excellent at innocent naivety and infectious joyfulness. It's when you get to the main leads that the trouble starts. I like Bruce Davison, though I won't always watch a film in which he stars as he does more than his fair share of these turkey-esq flicks. However, this is the first one where he appears to have submitted and gives a performance lacking in character and strength. I'll put it down to an off-period. Elizabeth Roberts as the mother and nurse Kara is woefully under-skilled to pull off the emotional wreck that her character is. She suffers hallucinations of her past that bolster and boost her depression and anxiety. Now, this could be down to the writers understanding of these conditions, however, Roberts' puts this across by being a wild-eyed hyperventilater. Granted these are outcomes and coping methods for the symptoms but the way they are acted are too extreme. It would have been better and more believable had she gone with talking to herself, having jitters, walking around in a daze. Then we get to Denise Crosby... I was never a fan of her. I thought she was pretty average on Star Trek the next generation and unbelievable in the original Pet Cemetery... To be honest, she's better in this role. It's great acting... but it isn't bad.
The utmost worst thing in the movie is the two cliffhanger "Sequel Coming" phishing scenes. This type of sequence has now become compulsory in horror films and I hate it. However, this flick gives you two for the price of one. The last one is superfluous as there's no hook involved. A, I think it's a removals man, looks inside a trunk and finds a group of small spiders that sets him shivering. His partner finds this funny but in the end, he closes the lid and walks away. They don't even move the trunk and there was no reason he looked inside in the first place. How is this meant to encourage anyone to watch a sequel? Now if, when the camera panned backwards, we saw a giant spider leg land on top of the closed trunk that would have piqued my interest. And hopefully, send a shiver down the spine...
So, as I am finding on a regular basis with horror flicks this could have been and should have been much better. Would I recommend it? Not really... though if there's nothing else on worth watching then you could give it a go... you'll have probably forgotten about it by the time you wake up the next morning anyway.
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