(1990) ★★★★

Channel 5: Sunday 1 November, 8.00pm

Life seems rosy for affable small-town doctor Jeff Daniels as his wife and two children move into their new country home. But then thousands of delinquent spiders turn up on his doorstep. Creepy-crawly chiller provokes squeals of laughter as well as revulsion. Steven Spielberg’s longtime associate Frank Marshall made a useful directorial debut with this consistently diverting, shiver-inducing entertainment, which begins in the jungles of Central America before heading for suburbia.

The details of small-town life are amusingly etched and there are plenty of fussy and funny touches from an excellent supporting cast. Henry Jones is insufferably superior as the town’s incumbent GP and Stuart Pankin improbably pompous as the local sheriff. Best of all is John Goodman as Delbert the exterminator, a know-it-all loudmouth who meets snooty arachnid expert Julian Sands with the words “Always a pleasure to meet a colleague.”

The freakshow fun and frights continue in the Fred Ward/Kevin Bacon knuckle sandwich Tremors (ITV2 at 11pm) while, a day late and a dollar short, BBC3 has 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection at 10pm. Resurrection? More like flogging a dead horse.

Certificate: PG
Duration: 105min

IMDB – Arachnophobia

TMDB – Arachnophobia

Rotten Tomatoes – Arachnophobia