Plot: The jungles of India are not the safest place to vacation, but for a group of friends who trekked the area on a backpacking expedition, the trip was a fun, if strenuous way to explore a rugged landscape. But just before the trip is supposed to conclude, one of the hikers is bitten by a spider, which is no surprise, but the bite happens to be from a lethal strain of spider. As she begins to fall into a comatose state, the group seeks out help from a local village, where an exiled American doctor happens to reside. Dr. Lecorpus (Lance Henriksen) is an expert on spiders thanks to his time with the locals, who worship the arachnids as gods. While some of the friends remain with the victims, others head off to find additional help, since it becomes clear that Lecorpus might not be in the most stable of mindsets. But is Lecorpus a horrific monster who wants to sacrifice the friends or just a misunderstood weirdo?
Entertainment Value: I had to see In the Spider’s Web, as Lance Henriksen as the leader of a native cult of spider worshipers is a fun premise. But while the premise sounds fun, the movie itself fails to capture that fun outside of a couple of isolated moments, which weren’t enough to save this one. I mean, Henriksen is fun and he dials up his effort, but the rest of the movie is either dull or just not fun to watch, so his performance is the lone bright spot here. He seems to embrace the b movie vibe, going over the top and giving an energetic turn, but the others don’t follow suit. So you have this one maniac, then a horde of bland, disinterested costars and while Henriksen is a legend, even he can only do so much. The script also never fully runs with the b movie threads, reeling in the camp and wildness, which is a shame. I mean, this is a movie about a cult of spider lovers and a group of douche hipsters, this should have been a b movie softball, but the movie bungles the execution. I love these kind of low rent creature features, so I wanted to like this one, but it is a total snooze.
No nakedness. I hoped Henriksen would glide off the deep end and host a wild, spider covered jungle orgy, but no such luck. No blood. The movie involves spider attacks of course, but the violence is mild at worst and no crimson is present. But given how awful the CGI spiders are, I have to think the bloodshed would have been just as bad, so no blood is better than CGI blood in that case. Some of the spider action is fun to watch, but it is too infrequent and some of the visual effects are so bad, you will think you’ve put in a Nintendo 64 game by accident. I am a fan of cheap, CGI packed monster movies, but this one just never embraces the concept and is more interested in the dull backpackers than the real stars, the spiders. The dialogue is mostly forgettable, but Henriksen is so over the top that he spins some of the otherwise bland lines into gold. Even he can only work so much magic with this weak script, but he is able to make a few fun moments and that is a minor miracle. On the craziness end of things, Henriksen is fun and even eats spiders for the cause, but otherwise, bland central here.
Overall Insanity: 1/10