Starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman, Arachnophobia was a 1990 horror-comedy film that certainly caused a dramatic increase in a public fear of spiders immediately upon its premiere. Doing for arachnids what Jaws did for sharks, Arachnophobia presented the story of a deadly Venezuelan spider reproducing in a small California town. The new species of spider crawls around all over the town to kill its residents one at a time.
Although it uses elements of dark comedy, the film was completely horrifying. One man dies when putting on a slipper with a spider inside— a teenager drops dead thanks to another hiding in his football helmet. If you watch this movie, don’t be surprised to find yourself double-checking your clothes before putting them on.
What really made Arachnophobia so scary was how grounded it was. The spiders were not supernatural in nature. They were, well, just deadly spiders. Something that really exists in this world, which we hope will stay deep in the rainforests of the world and not accidentally wind up in a quiet, small American town like mine.
People are generally just as afraid of spiders now as they were in 1990, so it seems like a no-brainer to do an updated film about a deadly species of arachnids spawning throughout an unsuspecting town. So why hasn’t it happened yet?
Next: Time for a new Cropsey?