In The Spider's Web (2007)


Reviewed By Scott Weinberg
It's pretty amazing how loyal the horror fans are. Take actor Lance Henriksen, for example. Here's a guy who became a fan favorite after his fantastic work in James Cameron's Aliens (which he followed up with another great turn in Kathryn Bigelow's wonderful Near Dark), and that (oh, and Pumpkinhead) was all it took: Lance Henriksen would, from that point forward, be completely and enthusiastically embraced by the horror community -- and it sure as hell seems like the gruffly affable character actor has earned a lifetime "get out of jail free" card. Because if you look closely, you'll realize that (particularly in recent years) Mr. Henriksen has been attached to more atrocious flicks than Ed Wood and Roger Corman combined. I hate to say it, but Henriksen's name on a DVD cover has almost become a WARNING more than a selling point ... which brings me back to the start: We horror geeks are a seriously loyal bunch.

Such were the thoughts that bounced around my head after suffering through Terry Winsor's In the Spider's Web, which is so amazingly bad that (yes) you simply have to see it to believe it. It'd be foolish to try and catalog everything that's wrong with this outlandishly inept movie (plus I try to keep my reviews below 6,000 words), but here's just a sampling...

The plot: As the movie opens, we're dropped into a random jungle with a bunch of strangers we don't know. One of them gets bit by a spider, so they wander over to a nearby village (um, a nearby hut) and that's where they find ... Lance Henriksen! Playing a loony doctor who's strangely obsessed with spiders! How convenient. The tour guide and a yappy girl decide to stay at the hut so they can look after the sick friend, and the other three dummies head off to civilization. Meanwhile, nothing of interest happens for about an hour.

Turns out the hut is located right next to a giant cave that looks like a spider's mouth, and inside the cave is an eternal supply of white ropes and wet toilet paper (both of which are meant to pass for massive webs, I believe). Then we're treated to some of the most hilariously sloppy CGI work you've ever seen, followed by (get this) rubber spiders dangling from strings! And not just a few of 'em. They're everywhere! In the Spider's Web is so blatantly and aggressively amateurish that one wonders why they didn't just lose the poker face and turn the project into a straight farce.

Oh, and the actors. Dear lord. I don't want to be cruel, but it feels like the casting call for In the Spider's Web was held at a shopping mall -- ten minutes before production began. Mr. Henriksen clearly has a "one take only" clause in his contract, and he chews the scenery with very little prompting ... but it's the cast of goofy characters that will have you rolling in the aisles. Well, the cast and those damn rubber spiders. The movie looks like it was filmed in the warehouse of a Hallowen Adventure store, basically. It's amazingly, stunningly bad in every possible respect -- and is therefore frequently hilarious, and possibly worthy of a look the next time it pops up on the Sci-Fi Channel.