Picks and Pans Review: Eight Legged Freaks
A B-movie with no higher ambition than a B-plus, Freaks is 1950s ecomonster sci-fi updated with digital effects and a hip awareness of its own cheesy implausibility, right down to the music: The thunderously orchestrated score uses "Itsy Bitsy Spider" as a motif. A laughably meager toxic chemical spill—a single barrel—creates enormous man-eating spiders in an Arizona town. They snack on pets, chase boys on dirt bikes and crash through diner windows like eight-legged, 800-lb. gorillas.
It's fun enough, and Arquette—who here, as in the Scream movies, seems to be a complete and happy child of trash-pop culture, as if he'd been raised in a convenience store—is perfect as a dim local hero. But since there's nothing at stake emotionally, no scares, no suspense, it's easy to disconnect after the first hour. The Birds wouldn't be remembered 39 years later if it had been about giant penguins. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: How the spidey have fallen