Spiders 3D (2013) Review: Spiders from Space
“Eight Legs, Three Dimensions, One Disaster.”
Synopsis: After a Soviet space station crashes into a New York City subway tunnel, a species of venomous spiders is discovered, and soon they mutate to gigantic proportions and wreak havoc on the city.
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Spiders 3D doesn’t really have any redeeming features. The plot is a mismatched jumble of standard creature feature storylines – genetically altered spiders (from space!) get loose in NYC and generally run amok while the Army is secretive and an estranged father tries to keep his family safe. You’ve seen all these plot elements a thousand times before, and generally done much better.
The acting is generally wooden, and never gets above mediocre. Daughter Emily (Sydney Sweeney) in particular does a terrible job; her role in the movie is usually to be in peril, but she has no convincing facial expressions any time something supposedly bad happens. Parents Jason (Patrick Muldoon) and Rachel (Christa Campbell) are similarly unconvincing, and the Army/science contingent (William Hope and Pete Lee-Wilson) don’t get much better.
The CGI is also laughably bad – I’m not sure the animators have ever seen a spider – which could maybe be filed under “These are alien spiders! From space!” but mostly just seems lazy. They don’t move, act, or sound realistic, which is a real problem in a movie with so little humor. But that’s a running problem with the movie: it’s impossible to take anything in Spiders 3D seriously.
Another major problem with the movie is that there’s not really a reason for us to be following the main characters. Normally in a flick like this, our heroes/dysfunctional family/quirky renegades are The Only Ones Who Can Save The City, By Golly, and the Army/government/Big Brother just won’t listen to reason. But despite Jason and Rachel spending a great deal of the movie dodging the Army, they don’t actually do anything to either expose the truth about the situation to the masses or cleverly take down the spiders. The movie just dutifully follows them and their daughter as they escape random bits of peril (including one particularly bizarre scene that involves them fighting spiders with a forklift). When Jason finally does destroy the queen spider, it’s through sheer coincidence and luck.
I didn’t fail Spiders 3D because, frankly, I’ve seen much worse. But you can safely give this one a pass. You won’t be missing anything, even if insect-y creature features are your thing.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: D-
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