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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Cobweb (2023)

Honestly, I was going to save this for Scare-athon, planned for October. This was merely one of fifty (at last count) horror titles lined up for 'that month' but if I'm brutally honest, I just couldn't wait.

It had been sitting on my desk, leering and baring its teeth at me with thinly veiled contempt, so fuck it, I thought, it's not like I'm short of stuff to sit through this Halloween. I might as well start this weekend with something curious, and at least initially tempting.

Appreciative nods was the general impression I had received beforehand from faces I recognise but don't really know (cough, you, essentially), without so much as looking at a trailer or scanning a synopsis. Whether that was a good idea or not literally remained to be seen.

I still can't decide whether I prefer Lizzie Caplan cracking jokes or scaring the bejeezus out of us. Either way, she remains an engaging on-screen presence who did as well here as anywhere else. Antony Starr (The Boys) of all people turns up here too as partner and parental control for Peter, played by Woody Norman. The main cast is completed by Cleopatra Coleman (Infinity Pool) as Peter's substitute teacher, Miss Devine.

In reality, this is formulaic, predictable, well-made and short. There isn't alot here that seasoned scare veterans haven't seen many times before, but to suggest that you don't know what really goes on behind your neighbour's closed doors is something of an understatement here. It's directed very well but fails to really innovate in an already saturated genre.

Malevolent from the outset, the comment from Miss Devine that there is 'something off' about the mother sets an obvious eye-rolling tone which continues throughout. There is a twist that you need to be registered blind to not see coming (and I'm not convinced you'd miss it even then) and the whole thing feels carefully edited to reach its target audience. Okay, but not good.


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