Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2012


 “Arachnophobia" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton




Everyone is afraid of something ... for Dr. Ross Jennings (Jeff Daniels), his phobia is downright embarrassing. But when he moves his family to a small town, the one thing that bugs him most is now harming the townspeople at an alarming rate. For this unlikely hero, overcoming a childhood fear of spiders might just save the community, but it may already be too late! Sometimes a monster can be very small. Also starring John Goodman, this critically acclaimed breathtaking hit entertains with its terrific mix of thrills, chills, and laughter!






  • Hollywood Pictures  Entertainment
  • 2012, Color, Rated PG-13, 1Hr 45 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC/ MEPG 4
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring: Jeff Daniels, John Goodman, Roy Brocksmith
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No


Steven Spielberg had a hand in the making of this movie and it shows. The opening was bit reminiscent of Indiana Jones, come to think about it. It contains just the right amount of terror and humor to make it a load of fun for the whole family (though my wife got up and left near the intense ending). Very little CGI here, and the spiders look real and convincing for the most part. This movie did for spiders what Jaws did for sharks, only you’ll be shaking out your blankets at night before you retire.


I was disappointed in the picture. The open scenes in South America looked washed out and grainy. Blacks are not inky, but only a dirty grey. Because the contrast was so poor, the depth of field suffers and looks flat. Film grain can be noisy and distracting  at times in the darker shots at night and in the basement. Details are good in some scenes and fuzzy in the next. Don’t get me wrong: the film is clean, speck free and certainly watchable, but it could have been spruced up more. Sound was lively and clear with ample surround effects and an occasional deep note for the sub. (Disney has announced that the grey haze and black levels have been corrected for the consumer discs that are now in the stores. I have not seen the corrected version, so Caveat emptor!)


Deleted scenes and commentaries.