Release Date: February 8, 2013
Director: Tibor Takács
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The giant insect has always been a staple of the sci-fi/monster genre. Harkening back to the ’50s and ‘60s with films like Tarantula, The Deadly Mantis and the classic Them! The ‘70s and ‘80s gave rise to Empire of the Ants, The Giant Spider Invasion and Blue Monkey. In the ‘90s Guillermo del Toro served up Mimic which was probably the last quality giant insect movie ever made. Afterwards the niche gave way to cookie-cutter productions for SyFy, known then as the Sci-Fi Channel, and Asylum. The genre became a “what will they think of next” monster of the week that has yielded some pretty horrid features. So here we are with Spiders 3D. How do you review something like this when you are already predisposed to think it’s garbage? This film was clearly made for a specific audience. With that in mind I used Asylum as the baseline. Anything in this film that is better than that is a positive especially for this genre.
When part of a Russian space station falls to earth and crashes in Manhattan, a deadly breed of spider is unleashed upon an unsuspecting metropolis. That is how the film begins but unlike most Asylum pictures it doesn’t rush right into the giant monster invasion. Genre veteran Takacs, who also directed The Gate, sets a deliberate pace that surprisingly kept my interest. He gives you little teasers and zingers here and there until he is ready to deliver just what got you to watch in the first place. I’ve seen films where the pace was so dull I stopped giving my full attention but then again I wasn’t sitting in a movie theatre like I was here. The acting is sporadic at best but a marked improvement over most present day genre flicks. Lead by a game Patrick Muldoon he is joined by William Hope of Aliens. Coincidence that both of them faced off against alien bugs before? Probably not.
So the directing and acting is okay for the genre but what you really want to know are how are the spiders and the 3D. Well they are a mixed bag. Unfortunately they are predominantly CG creations but the CG looks good more often then bad. I think there were moments where they actually used some practical effects, which would have been awesome if they went that route but I’m guessing it would have been more expensive. I’ve seen my fair share of Asylum level monster movies and the effects, as well as set design, are much more polished. As for the 3D, I’m not sure if it was actually shot in 3D but it wasn’t bad. It gave more depth and there wasn’t as much in your face effects as you’d come to expect.
Overall for the genre it was passable entertainment and better than typical SyFy. You won’t feel like you lost some brain cells after seeing it. It can be enjoyed as a genre film or even as the kind of movie you can make fun of with friends. Mind you if this genre is not your cup of tea you’d do best to skip it. Otherwise, you may get a kick out of it.