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Arachnophobia (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  18 July 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 47,036 users  
Reviews: 134 user | 74 critic

A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Brocksmith ...
Mary Carver ...
Tommy Jennings (as Garette Patrick Ratliff)
Marlene Katz ...


A large spider from the jungles of South America is accidently transported in a crate with a dead body to America where it mates with a local spider. Soon after, the residents of a small California town disappear as the result of spider bites from the deadly spider offspring. It's up to a couple of doctors with the help of an insect exterminator to annihilate these eight legged freaks before they take over the entire town. Written by Shaun Ouimette <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Eight legs, two fangs and an attitude. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 July 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aracnofobia  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)


$53,133,888 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When in the cemetery exhuming one of the bodies, the name of the grave in the background says MacNamara, which is also the surname of the actor Brian, playing Chris Collins. See more »


When the three girls are driving away after being warned about the spiders, one of them says "Yo, Dr.Death" yet none of their mouths move. See more »


Dr. Ross Jennings: Chris, I'm scared to death.
Collins: Yeah, we all are, but our brains secrete a neurotransmitter that enables us to deal with them.
Dr. Ross Jennings: I don't think I have that particular neurotransmitter.
See more »


Referenced in Decloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain (2010) See more »


I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Written by George Cory (as George C. Cory) and Douglass Cross
Performed by Tony Bennett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Freakish thriller
10 November 2000 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

"Arachnophobia" is a very entertaining horror movie produced by Steven Spielberg. It's takes the fear of spiders to the next level. The film opens with an expedition in South America where a very deadly tarantula puts the bite on an American photographer, killing him in the process. Just before the body gets transferred back to the U.S., the spider sneaks into the coffin. Once in the states, the tarantula quickly mates with a domestic house spider and that creates the ultimate nightmare. Before you know it, a new strain of spiders have been born, that these little creepy crawlers are just as lethal! Jeff Daniels is excellent as the new doctor in town who hates spiders. He begins to realize something strange is happening. A couple of deaths occur, and the doc feels that these unexpected demises might be spider related. And man it's a scary ride to the finish. "Arachnophobia" literally gave me the creeps. And it's also funny. Many of the film's comedy is provided by John Goodman as the town exterminator. He's literally a hoot. The thing about this movie that surprised me is that I was pulled into the story right from the beginning and it kept my attention all the way to the end. "Arachnophobia" was directed by Frank Marshall, Spielberg's long time collaborater, in his directorial debut. Marshall did a very good job his first time out helming a film which looked like a promising career move at first. He made his second film, "Alive" a few years later (I've not seen this one yet). Then he made "Congo", which was one of the worst movies of 1995, and hasn't directed another movie since (at least not to my knowledge). But "Arachnophobia" was an above average debut for Marshall. He's got good potential as a director. This isn't a brilliant movie, but a good one. And it's lots of fun. One word of warning: if you have a fear of spiders, don't watch this. You'll probably hate it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

*** (out of four)

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