Spider Danger (2012) – By Philip Smolen

What’s a guy to do when he’s surrounded by large, creepy, hostile spiders that are determined to make a meal out of him? That’s the premise of “Spider Danger”, a five minute sci-fi short from filmmaker Andrea Ricca. In the movie, Ricca plays a spider-loving home owner who is inundated by an army of large arachnids after a meteor from Spider Planet crashes and unleashes them on Earth. Ricca awakens from a nap to a house full of voracious puppy-sized spiders. He spends the rest of the film fighting off the alien arachnids as well as one of their very large parents.

“Spider Danger” is really just a test reel for the 3D special effects that Ricca is able to create. And for a low budget independent film, they are impressive. While the spiders still need a little more detail and crispness in their renderings, they are remarkable. Ricca gives these creatures natural movements and proper bug-like reactions. They are an effective menace, and he captures their single-mindedness successfully.

But while the effects are cool, Ricca is still growing as a filmmaker, so other areas such as character development, pacing, and scriptwriting lag behind his effects. For example it’s never made clear whether the meteor releases the spiders, or if radiation from the passing rock mutates the spider he already has. Ricca’s performance as the besieged human is perhaps the weakest aspect of the movie. He hardly displays any facial reactions to the threat and acts so lackadaisical during the five minutes that it seems like he’s taking out the garbage and not facing an overwhelming alien attack. But when you went to see a Ray Harryhausen flick, did you care about the acting and the script? Of course not, you went for the monsters. As long as they were cool, you were happy. It’s the same with “Spider Danger.” It may not have crisp direction and good acting, but it’s got some cool monsters. And though they don’t make up for the film’s other deficiencies, they do make it a fun five-minute fright flick.

You can watch “Spider Danger” online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRnuaf-tz2w

For more information on Andrea Ricca and his films, please visit: http://www.andrearicca.com