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Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

PG-13 | | Action, Comedy, Horror | 17 July 2002 (USA)
2:05 | Trailer

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A variety of horrible poisonous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions.



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
2,882 ( 1,604)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Holwick ...
Jack Moore ...


The residents of a rural mining town discover that an unfortunate chemical spill has caused hundreds of little spiders to mutate overnight to the size of SUVs. It's then up to mining engineer Chris McCormack and Sheriff Sam Parker to mobilize an eclectic group of townspeople, including the Sheriff's young son, Mike, her daughter, Ashley, and paranoid radio announcer Harlan, into battle against the bloodthirsty eight-legged beasts. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The biggest... nastiest... mutant spider movie of all time!!!! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, brief sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arac Attack  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,485,458 (USA) (19 July 2002)


$17,266,505 (USA) (11 October 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title did not come from the script, the director or the studio. In one scene, actor David Arquette improvised the phrase "Eight Legged Freaks" and that became the title. The original title was "Arac Attack" (in many European countries the film was released under that title). The scene can be seen in the movie with the phrase intact. See more »


When the giant tarantula is attacking the silver radio van, the spider is seen attempting to roll the van over. After a few scene changes the van is pictured from above on its side. Yet in the next scene the occupants within are still standing relatively upright on the floor of the van. The following scene change then shows the van being tipped onto its side. See more »


[first lines]
Harlan: Do you know fear?
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood and the Muslim World (2003) See more »


Strangers in the Night
Written by Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder
Performed by Fantastic Strings
Courtesy of Laserlight Digital by Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the year's most pleasant surprises
5 September 2002 | by (Houston, TX) – See all my reviews

Final Score (average of various classic cinematic qualities- direction, pure fun, creativity, intelligence, originality, ect.):

7.7 (out of 10)

For some reason the mainstream in this country just HATES monster movies. They think they're "too stupid", yet everytime an "Austin Powers" or "Scary Movie" comes out we're all just supposed to bend over and take it ("wallow in it's stupidity"). Go figure. Hopefully that's not going to stop Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich from producing this stuff. God bless them, they seem to understand the can-do campy 50s monster movie spirit more than anyone else today. Eight Legged Freaks (and that IS a perfect title, by the way) is coming out to be one of the best popcorn rollarcoasters of the summer. I'll even say of last summer too. The reason it keeps getting compared to the similarly toned "Tremors", "Gremlins" and "Arachnophobia" is because it's the best movie of it's kind since then- and that was a decade ago.

That's all genera-speak though. While it blows away the likes of "Men in Black 2", Eight Legged Freaks dissapoints in that it refuses to go the extra mile and break some of the templated cliches of the genera - the finale (while satisfying and cool to watch) was way to convenient for me- and it certainly has it's share of eye-rolling stupid lines and moments. Doug E. Doug plays a typical conspiracy theorist who mouthpieces some typical Hollywood liberal lines ("You still think a black man's vote counts in Florida"). Plus, that lengthy cat death scene was unbearably cruel to watch. You'd think Hollywood expelled their hatred of cats with "Cats and Dogs". Make no mistake about it: Hollywood HATES cats.

Nonetheless 7.7 is quite an accomplishment for a movie of this kind. All the credit goes to first time writer/director Elkayhem. The movie is serious only to the point of being true to it's genera, lightly funny without being too stupid, and occasionally even frightening. Some of his plot points are cliche but he sets them up so well we hardly notice. The visuals are incredible from the bright cartoonish color pallette given to the locations to the spiders themselves - easily some of most realistic set of special effects I've seen in a while. To many special effects movies now have this unconvincing animated look to them. These lazy FX people don't understand that a comment like "nice special effects" is not a compliment. A good special effect is one we don't notice and these spiders are completely convincing. One of my favorite little bits is one where two spiders work together- one ripping the door off a pickup, the other pulling out the guy inside. The trap-door spiders rule, but "the jumpers" are the stars. This movie does for "Jumpers" what Jurassic Park did for Velociraptors.

The acting fits the bill. David Arquette is perfectly cast as the lead. He plays it suprisingly straight (a nice change of pace from Deputy Dewey and other movie goofballs) but the mear novelty of his presence helps set the movie's goofy overall effect. Finally, the action scenes are exciting, imaginative and very well paced. This is a movie for anybody who ever looked around inside a mall and imagined what it would look like if the walls were swarming with hundreds of giant spiders. I'm serious, you have to have that level of imagination. You also have to let a movie be what it is and this one is a rock solid entry in the modern monster movie library.

Biggest Positive: It's a blast, with realistic effects to boot.

Biggest Negative: that cat killing scene.

43 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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