Macabre…ish Horror Review: Arachnid
Arachnid, 2001/ 95 min.
On a test flight, Lightfoot (Jesus Cabrero) sees something he can’t identify and bails out, landing in a jungle. He encounters a crash site, with invisible shrapnel scattered around and fire. In the middle of it is some kind of alien spider, hatching. While Lightfoot stands there stunned, he becomes this creatures first meal.
Later, another pilot, Loren Mercer (Alex Reid), Lightfoot’s sister, is to be the pilot on a mission in that same area. Natives are found with unknown viruses, contracted by suspected spider bites, are dying. Also on this medical mission is an arachnologist, Henry Capri (Ravil Isyanov) and they will be led by native guides and security, former military.
And they also experience a plane malfunction and have to make an emergency crash landing on the nearest island. Dr. Capri almost immediately starts collecting specimens and while he does that, something drips on his hat and it starts to burn. Upon looking for what was doing it, Bear (Rocqueford Allen) arrives and shoots in the general direction and no one sees what it was.
The next day they trek through the jungle looking for help and on the way, Reyes (Luis Lorenzo Crespo) is covered in painful ticks. And not just normal ticks, these burrow beneath the skin and deep into his body.
Meanwhile, on a bathroom break, Mercer falls in a hole, a giant trapdoor spider’s trap and she’s dragged in but is saved by Valentine (Chris Potter).
After suffering terribly from whatever the ticks are doing to his body, Reyes starts to cough up giant ticks. Then they start digging their way out of his chest and face. Capri tries to stop Bear but no luck, he puts Reyes out of his misery and kills all the ticks.
Later, the dwindling group is attacked by a giant centipede that ends up killing one of the natives. Capri announces they need to get off this island after examining the specimens. Then Loren finds some of Lightfoot’s clothes and decides to investigate but then Capri goes missing while on the cusp of figuring out why some of these creatures are destroying their own habitat.
While wading in waste deep river water, a giant wolf spider sprays Bear and another native with acid, killing him.
While searching for Capri, they find human remains in a tree, it’s Loren’s brother, Lightfoot. She buried him before they continue on. At this point, the jungle is blanketed with spider silk and they find Capri, rambling incoherently, behind a wall of it.
Just as Dr. Capri dies, a spider the size of a bus corners them, chasing them into another thick wall of web. It gets Samuel though and melts his face with acid.
Three of them find a military bunker but they lose Toe Boy (Robert Vicencio), a huge spider crashes through through a window and Valentine attacks it with a sword but it escapes. Susana (Neus Asensi) convinces herself the spider is gone and upon stepping outside, is immediately attacked.
The remaining two, Valentine and Mercer, escape into an underground tunnel and find their way out. After Loren dreams her brother is a spider, she wakes up and Bear and Toe Boy are there. They make a plan to kill the giant tarantula.
This Spanish adventure horror was directed by Jack Sholder. It’s paced pretty well and the monster effects are pretty good. It’s not particularly bloody but it’s very graphic and gory.