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The French Arachnophobia….

For years, sharks have been the big thing that has delighted horror fans, what with the vicious bite of The Reef franchise, to the B-Movie love for the ridiculous Sharkanado franchise and countless other titles that joined hurriedly onto the watery bandwagon.

For a creature that terrifies so many people in real life, its strange that the 8-legged creepy crawlies have only really used as a young lad, fighting alongside a team of The Avengers or being just a friendly neighbourhood helper, battling his own nemesis, while wooing his own version of MJ. It was way back in 1990 when Arachnophobia scared a generation that spiders caused such a ripple and we’ve been waiting for years for a film to offer something that rivalled the Frank Marshall classic and with STING set to be released this year, promising the scares, this French horror by first time director Sébastien Vanicek steals the thunder with a rip roaring, skin-crawling scare-fest that will no doubt make you squirm and literally scream, each time they appear on screen.

The premise is simple yet so effective. We get the standard set-piece opener that really sets the mood before we settle on a run-down apartment block where Kaleb (Théo Christine) is trying to make some money, by selling sports trainers to his locals and keeping exotic pets in his apartment, a new addition being a spider, who soon escapes, bites a fellow resident and what become just one small problem, escalates into a whole big one as its offspring’s hide in the small cracks of each block, spinning webs and lurking behind each screen shot, which lingers dread in all of us watching.

As the spiders multiply and grow spontaneously, the threat becomes all to real, one particular highlight is when Kaleb and his friends need to walk down a corridor full of web to reach the other side as hundreds of spiders lay in wait. Its a nail-biting, panic inducing sequence that is one of the best moments in 2024 film and not for the faint hearted. A shower scene beforehand also sets the mood and there were many times, I threw my legs in the air and brushed my whole body down as the the thought of the chaos on-screen, could be happening to me, such is the affect, this delightful film had.

If anything, INFESTED works best for most of its running time, when the spiders are a normal size – some shots are of actual spiders – hiding, making your imagination go into overdrive as it feels all too real and its only when they start to become huge, that the horror loses that essence, becoming more cartoonish as we reach the climax.

But that doesn’t distract from what is basically the best spider film in nearly thirty-five years and with news that Vanicek has been lined up for a new Evil Dead film, on this evidence, the deadites could not be in better hands….

INFESTED aka VERMINES is now streaming on SHUDDER

Rating: ★★★★☆

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About Ross Hughes 562 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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