Monday, September 11, 2023

Cobweb: Another Mediocre Entry in the 2023 Horror Catalogue

If you're a horror enthusiast, you might have been excited to checkout "Cobweb". Directed by Samuel Bodin and featuring a talented cast including Lizzy Caplan, Woody Norman, Cleopatra Coleman, and Antony Starr, the film had the potential to be a gripping addition to the horror genre. However, what I found instead was a movie that barely passed the bar of what makes a decent horror flick.

One of the first things that struck me about "Cobweb" was the overuse of modern horror motifs. It's as if the filmmakers had a checklist of horror cliches and decided to throw them all into this one. From creepy settings in the house to classrooms that we've seen in thousands of other movies, there was a distinct lack of originality in the mise-en-scene. While some may argue that the filmmakers wanted these cliches to be overtly noticeable, it doesn't necessarily make it a good decision. It almost felt like they were trying too hard to fit the mold of what a horror movie should be.

Despite having a talented cast, the performances in "Cobweb" often came across as wooden. Much of this can be attributed to the unnatural dialogue the actors were given to work with. Additionally, the awkwardness of some characters, particularly the parents, felt forced and at odds with the overall tone of the film. While they were meant to serve as red herrings, any modern horror enthusiast could see right through it, making their interactions feel comical and hammy in a movie that was supposed to be taken seriously.

One of the frustrating aspects of "Cobweb" was the inconsistent mythology of the movie's monster. The creature seemed to possess contradictory physical abilities that didn't adhere to the established rules of the film's universe. While horror often relies on suspending disbelief, "Cobweb" took it a step too far, sacrificing logic for the sake of horror staples. This can be seen with the all too familiar slaughter sequences, where a character is dragged under furniture and blood splatters out from underneath.

Moreover, the film's storylines felt forced and rushed, which in turn hindered character development. It was evident that the filmmakers struggled to make sense of their characters' arcs, resulting in a disjointed narrative. This lack of depth made it difficult to truly connect with any of the characters, ultimately diminishing the impact of their fates.

Perhaps one of the most noticeable nods to horror classics was the setting of "Cobweb." The film takes place on Halloween in a town named Holdenfield, a name that bears a striking resemblance to another well-known horror movie set in Haddonfield. While references and homages can enhance a horror film, in this case, after being backpacked with a dozen other cliches, it only served to highlight the lack of originality in the movie's overall approach.

In the end, "Cobweb" is a watchable but forgettable addition to the horror genre. While it boasts excellent cinematography, eerie sound design, and proficient editing, it struggles to make the most of its characters and relies too heavily on tired horror cliches. For those who enjoy a dose of horror, it may provide some entertainment, but it falls short of offering anything new or memorable. As we approach the end of 2023, it's safe to say that "Cobweb" is unlikely to make it onto many horror film watchlists.

So, if you're in the mood for a horror movie that doesn't break new ground but still manages to deliver a few chills, "Cobweb" might be worth a watch. However, if you're seeking a truly memorable and innovative horror experience, you may want to look elsewhere.

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