The horror world got an interesting announcement recently. It turns out that a remake of everyone’s favorite spider-filled horror comedy from 1990, Arachnophobia, is getting the remake treatment. Filmmaker Christopher Landon is set to write and direct the film, which may have you sighing with relief. His recent horror comedies Happy Death Day and Freaky are highly regarded for their sharp humor and fun vibes at a perfect balance with spooky thrills. If they’re dead-set on remaking this classic, there are some things that have to be in the new Arachnophobia to make it worth the time of a diehard fan of the original.
1. Bring back Jeff Daniels.
Most people think of his role as Harry in Dumb and Dumber, but Jeff Daniels was also amazing in the original Arachnophobia. He plays lead Ross Jennings, a family doctor new in town and just trying to make nice with the local gossip mill. Unfortunately, it’s this arachnophobe’s new house that is infested by a massive tropical spider queen and her many murderous hatchlings. While Jeff Daniels shouldn’t come back as the main character this time around, it’d be cool if he was the doctor getting replaced by the new guy. Heck, even a cameo in the end would be lovely.
2. Bring back John Goodman.
But if I had to choose one character from the original to come back, it’s John Goodman as the wizened exterminator, Delbert. He provided a lot of the comic relief with his deadpan delivery and odd charm. After all, the movie is going to need an exterminator. There’s no one better suited for the role than him.
3. Use real, living spiders.
The original Arachnophobia used tons of living spiders for their scares. Sure, training spiders to run in specific directions is probably nearly impossible, but it’s so worth it in the end. What’s going to truly scare an audience: real spiders or fake ones? Just chuck a bunch of spiders in a room and film them, Christopher Landon. You’ll probably end up with a lot of good material.
4. Use practical effects for the big guys.
Of course, when it comes to the big mama spider, you can’t use real animals. Because–hopefully–they don’t exist. In that case, Hollywood needs to resist the urge to bust out the high-end computers for a CG spider. There are some killer practical effects artists out there who could make a convincing giant spider. It’s what they did with the original, and it worked. I’d hate for them to end up with a worse-looking spider than a movie that came out over 30 years ago.
5. Limit the jump scares.
I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any jump scares. By the very nature of spiders, they’re going to have to appear suddenly. That just shouldn’t be the only tactic for scaring the audience. This applies to all horror movies, but it’s especially the case for a spider horror. The production company might want to make it a 3D movie so they can have spiders suddenly fly at the screen, and honestly, the movie will be scary enough without that kind of gimmick.
6. Remember that less is more.
Fill this remake with foreboding. One thing the original did well is limiting the number of spiders you see for much of the movie. You might just see a glimpse of a spider moving along a shower curtain and that’s enough to inspire dread in an arachnophobic audience. Then that makes the reveal of just how bad this spider problem is even that more alarming. Speaking of which…
7. And more is more.
Of course, during the big spidery showdown, you need all the spiders, all the time. In the original Arachnophobia, the final scenes are positively ghoulish in the amount of spiders. They spill out of every crack in the wall. And that’s the real fear. There are always so many more spiders in your home than you can actually see. Hopefully that thought doesn’t keep you up tonight.