Movie Review: Ice Spiders (2007)

Synopsis: A group of Olympic hopefuls arrive at a remote ski resort to train with Dan "Dash" Dashiell, a champion skier whose career was ended by a gruesome injury. What they don't know is a nearby research facility has been experimenting with spiders, causing them to grow to an enormous size, and the six specimens have escaped and are now looking for food.

Who's in it? The movie stars Patrick Muldoon, Vanessa Williams, Thomas Calabro, David Millbern and Noah Bastian.

Review: It was a dreary and rainy day yesterday and my wife and I wound up on the couch for most of it as a result. We decided to watch a movie yesterday afternoon and Ice Spiders seemed to be the safest choice out of the ones we considered so we gave it a try. Overall, it was about what we expected a made-for-TV movie to be.

The overall premise of the film isn't overly unique, scientists splice DNA from a prehistoric spider with modern-day spiders hoping to help humanity (or, in this case, the military) and things go horribly and predictably wrong. I will say this though, having the spiders hunting in a cold climate, which would be unusual for that kind of creature, did give it a bit of uniqueness.

I thought the movie did prove to be entertaining. The spiders were aggressive and since they came from a variety of species, had some unique traits from each other. Plus, unlike in other movies, the various main characters at least tried to put up a fight and escape rather than be easy prey. And while there were some expected limitations with the special effects, the movie made it work. 

I felt like some of the characters could have used a bit more development. Dash (Muldoon) was clearly the lead protagonist but was a bit bland. Even the writers seemed to feel this way because around midway through the movie, they decided to mention his 12 years in the Marines to make him a bit more badass even though it was unclear how he could have served in the military while also competing in skiing competitions, training for the Olympics and spending two years in rehab from his injury.

The movie also wastes Vanessa Williams in my opinion. Her character, Dr. April Sommers, doesn't really do much of anything. She's just there to provide eye candy and exposition and the latter is something plenty of others could have provided. I really would have liked to see her have more of a role.

I also thought the ending of the film could have used a ton of work. It was one of those endings that seemed like the movie was more interested in setting up a sequel (which I don't think ever happened) than providing closure. Plus, the way Dash, Vanessa and all the other survivors were laughing and joking as though dozens didn't just die in front of them and the bodies had yet to be cleaned up, didn't really fit. In fact, based on the direction the film took at the end, it would have made much more sense for none of them to even be left alive.

Final Opinion: It's a flawed movie but as I said, also proved to be an entertaining one. It's worth taking the time to watch as long as you keep your expectations lowered.

My Grade: B-


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