The spider puppetry hasn't aged terribly well, but this Amblin production succeeds in part because it has genuine stakes: the filmmakers don't pull any punches when it comes to conveying how deadly these critters are. In fact, it's impressive how light a tone "Arachnophobia" manages to maintain considering how many characters end up at the morgue, though Jeff Daniels and John Goodman's comedic timing certainly helps.
A genial, light-weight "horror" film. The movie is good looking, well performed, and well shot. The suspense is leavened with humor and the plot is routine. Really, a good intro-to-horror film for someone who wants to understand the genre without actually being scared, just a little tense with anticipation at times. John Goodman pushes the film toward the humorous side whenever he appears.
One of the more realistic and better scripted spider attack movies out there and never places kids in any annoying "they are in extreme dangerous" situations even if they appear and instead the film focuses on a phobic father and it all feels a lot more refreshing because of it. John Goodman steals scenes as an exterminator. It will only scare people with a spider-phobia though as it is more fun than scary.