Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans



Directed by Samuel Bodin. Starring Woody Norman, Lizzy Caplan, Antony Starr, Cleopatra Coleman.
Horror, US, 88 minutes.


Released in cinemas in the UK on 1st September by Lionsgate


Reviewed as part of Pigeon Shrine FrightFest 2023


Released in the US at the height of the Barbenheimer box office phenomenon, the spooky autumnal horror COBWEB was seemingly and carelessly dropped into cinema screens with barely any notice. A week later, it was gone, leaving those few who got to see it why a film such as this would not be released at the more appropriate time of Halloween when the film's thrillingly unpredictable climax takes place. Released in the UK closer to said season, the film will hopefully find more of the audience it deserves.


Peter is bullied at school and overprotected by his zealous parents at home. His new supply teacher, Miss Devine, immediately sees that this is a young boy in need of help, but the ghostly voice that seems to come from behind his bedroom wall may offer some aid. As Peter learns of the rumours of a young girl vanishing from his neighbourhood in the past, more terrifying secrets are revealed in a highly entertaining and effective fashion, leading to a climax that goes off the rails in a fashion comparable to last year's BARBARIAN.


Directed by Samuel Bodin, who also helmed the underrated and unfairly cancelled Netflix series MARIANNE, this smart and creepy horror flick expertly manipulates its narrative and tricks the audience in an entertaining fashion. Bodin conjures a near-gothic atmosphere within Peter’s chilly house and engineers one of the year's best jump scares. As anyone who watched MARIANNE will know, Bodin is a name we should all be taking more notice of, and hopefully, COBWEB will highlight this plain fact even further.


Bodin also proves his skills with his cast here. Woody Norman makes a good impression as the young, terrified and put-upon hero while Lizzy Caplan, another underrated performer, makes the absolute most of her role as Peter’s zealously overprotective mother while Antony Starr furthers his reputation as one of the most sinister actors on screen at the moment as Peter’s father whose moods can change from good-humoured chumminess to something else entirely in an instant.


COBWEB is the perfect way to usher in the spooky season as summer winds down and the nights start to get longer. With a number of reboots and sequels on the horizon, some of which look better than others, COBWEB already stands out with its original storyline and subversive plotting. It zips by with its packed-out plot at just under ninety minutes, even if the final scene feels slightly rushed. Think about it too long; several questions about the film's more outrageous twists and developments will undoubtedly be raised. It hardly matters a jot when the results are this entertaining. A pleasant surprise well worth catching on the big screen if you can.


Iain MacLeod


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans