Skeletons in the Closet
Cobweb uses style to overcome its cliches
The streaming revolution has become a bit of a double-edged sword for many filmmakers. On one hand, it has allowed works of art to reach audiences that they might otherwise never have reached. On the other, they often get lost in the never-ending sea of content. But since we're in spooky season, I'll take this opportunity to let readers know about Cobweb, a creepy little tale that had the misfortune of being released in the middle of the Barbenheimer juggernaut. It's a shame it got lost in the shuffle because the film is a stylish horror story with some incredible directorial flourishes that elevate what could have been a pretty routine premise.
One week before Halloween, eight-year old Peter (Woody Norman) begins hearing a strange tapping behind his bedroom walls. His parents (Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr) blame an overactive imagination but Peter is certain that they're something more. As the noises become more prominent, Peter's investigation stirs a mistrust in his parents as he starts to believe that they could be hiding some terrible secret.
The film's style and production design give it a wonderfully old-fashioned quality, like a modern-day Grimm's fairy tale or an urban legend told around the campfire. The story itself is, sadly, a little too predictable for anyone well-versed in horror movie tropes, but director Samuel Bodin maintains interest with some ingenious uses of light and shadow as well as some creative camera movements. Cobweb may be nothing revolutionary, but it makes for some nice scary viewing just in time for Halloween.
Cobweb is currently available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube.
Directed by Samuel Bodin // Written by Chris Thomas Devlin // Starring Woody Norman, Lizzy Caplan, Antony Starr, Cleopatra Coleman, Luke Busey, Jay Rincon, Anton Kottas, and Aleksandra Dragova // 88 minutes // Rated R // Lionsgate