New Arachnophobia Movie Coming From Freaky Director

If there was ever a movie that scared the absolute ever-loving sh*t out of me as a small child, it was Arachnophobia. I think I was about eight years old when my father brought the purple VHS box into our household. However, it was about ten years after that I finally saw it in its entirety without having to stop it after a spider crawled into a kid’s football helmet, the furthest I’d ever made it after several attempts through Frank Marshall’s movie. After finally seeing it, I absolutely loved it.

The news was announced today that Christopher Landon, the writer and director behind Happy Death Day and Freaky, would be resurrecting Amblin Entertainment’s 1990 cult classic creature feature with the help of Atomic Monster Productions’ James Wan and Michael Clear. Landon will direct a new Arachnophobia movie, the details of which are still to come.

Jeff Daniels is paralyzed against a sliding door in Arachnophobia (1990)
Jeff Daniels in the original 1990 film, Arachnophobia

In the original Arachnophobia, a South American spider hitches a ride in the casket of its victim and wreaks havoc on a family who moves to a small town. The father of the family, played by Jeff Daniels, is a young doctor paralyzed with fear at the sight of an eight-legged creature. As people in the town begin to die under unusual circumstances, the doctor and a scientist team up to investigate. Along with the help of an exterminator with a screw loose (John Goodman), they attempt to find the nest of the killer arachnids.

The original film is very much a modern throwback to ’50s and ’60s nuclear panic films like Tarantula! or Them! and even contains a lot of old genre tropes, such as a skeptical old doctor who refutes any evidence, a policeman with a grudge against outsiders, animals who can see the spiders before the humans, a stand-by-your-man wife, and the spunky old lady who sticks up for the doc whose calls for an investigation are disregarded.

If ever there was a person that could balance the creepy-crawly squirms of tension Marshall pulled off in the original film and inject it with an equal dose of hilarity, Landon feels like the right choice. The director’s aforementioned efforts have an abundance of laughs and thrills in equal measure, as does his work on Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Landon also knows how to give serious chills, writing Disturbia and several Paranormal Activity films, directing The Marked Ones.

Creepy Duck Design, the artist behind some of Scream’s (2022) incredible posters, is already entranced with the idea of a new Arachnophobia movie and has submitted some fantastic concept art after hearing the news. The posters have me itching and swatting at my skin and checking my ears.

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Written by Sean Parker

Living just outside of Boston, Sean has always been facinated by what horror can tell us about contemporary society. He started writing music reviews for a local newspaper in his twenties and found a love for the art of thematic and symbolic analysis. Sean joined Horror Obsessive at it's inception, and is currently the site's Creative Director. He produces and edits the weekly Horror Obsessive podcast for the site as well as his interviews with guests. He has recently started his foray into feature film production as well, his credits include Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, Michelle Iannantuono's Livescreamers, and Ricky Glore's upcoming Troma picture, Sweet Meats.

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