There is a long history of movies where nature strikes back at the human world. From the “Island of Lost Souls” to “The Happening”, Mother Nature proves that she is not someone to be messed with. (Although running away from the wind may just be the one way to mess with her that would cause her to crack up and just stop trying to wipe us out). The most fertile period of time for these farfetched stories was the post war atomic age when exposure to radiation causes giant ants, killer rabbits, and irritated amphibians. In the lengthy annals of horror films featuring monsters that are simply real creatures pushed to the brink, no animal, fish or insect has been more widely used to terrify us than the spider. Most people instinctively withdraw their hands from proximity to a spider. The hair on the back of our necks raises at the thought of one normal spider crawling across our flesh. It is therefore no surprise that outsized spiders have been a go-to critter whenever a film maker is looking for a way to scare us. Our fear of spiders is also something that is regularly mocked. In “Annie Hall, Woody Allen’s character jokes ” Honey, there’s a spider in your bathroom the size of a Buick.” It is this combination of the frightening and the ridiculous that makes “Eight Legged Freaks” a movie that I want everyone to see.
Debuting this weekend on Showtime was “Scream 4”, Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven’s return to Woodsboro. Ten years after “Scream 3”, all the key principals reunite in order to see if they can resuscitate the dormant horror franchise.
The “Scream” franchise has always been known for being a self-aware genre critique. The original’s clever script and rising-star cast turned it into a modern horror classic. The sequel was a worthy one, continuing the “meta” trend by turning the commentary to sequels. The third, however, was an abominable disappointment, drawing scorn from critics and underperforming the previous installments. Essentially, “Scream 3” ended the franchise… til now.
But was Woodsboro worth returning to?