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.