Halloween 2023 has seen a raft of poor horror films grace the big screen and it would have been an ideal time for Cobweb to have been released. Instead it came out in early September a time when the summer blockbusters have gone, the kids are going back to school and the grown-ups are already finding it difficult to believe that the summer holiday was only a week ago when it already feels like a lifetime. It’s a lull before the horror season storm kicks in and Cobweb was ideally suited to that time and it was a brief release before it now arrives on blu-ray & DVD
Cobweb is the story of Peter (Woody Norman) an eight-year-old who is plagued by a mysterious, constant tap, tap, tap from inside his bedroom wall – a tapping that his parents insist is all in his imagination. As Peter’s fear intensifies, he believes that his parents (Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr) could be hiding a terrible, dangerous secret and questions their trust. And for a child, what could be more frightening than that? – We’d suggest Rolf Harris arriving for babysitting duties but Cobweb ups the ante with what it is that’s tapping away
That almost primal fear of hearing things that go bump in the night is something that we can all identify with and for some it carries right on into adulthood and the film plays on it well with admittedly some standard tropes (that looking through a peephole only for another eye to suddenly appear looking back at you is one the film is unable to resist) and from the get-go this carefully builds up its story with Peter never quite knowing whether to trust his parents and his school teacher grows ever more concerned for his welfare That his teacher is played by Cleopatra Coleman who here bears an unnerving likeness to Meghan Markle could only add to Peter’s frightened state of mind – it certainly would for Prince Harry It all builds to a wild third act with well constructed jump scares giving way to shocking moments which keeps its ‘monster’ under wraps until the last moment – a device that works well in what is the latest of ‘child in peril’ movies we have had this year led notably by Evil Dead Rise
What is a surprise is that this is produced by Seth Rogen best known for his potty mouthed stoner comedies but of late has backed a number of diverse projects that have included the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem, the under rated raucous comedy Joy Ride (disc review HERE) and now Cobweb and all have been good. Helming is French director Samuel Bodin and though this is a low budget film he still delivers the goods and bodes well for whatever he might do next in the genre and it’s easy to imagine him directing an Evil Dead film.
The disc is thin on bonus features with only three brief featurettes of which the best is ‘Becoming the girl’ and to say anymore would spoil the film. But Cobweb is something of an undiscovered gem for horror fans with director Samuel Bodin builds up a creepy atmosphere before he goes for broke in the last act. Bodin appears in the featurettes and is something of an excitable Frenchman mangling vowels in his rightly placed enthusiasm about the project and it is perhaps for that reason that the disc has no commentary.
Running at a brief 88 minutes its does the job never outstaying its welcome and the film deserved to do far better at the box office so with its release on blu-ray and DVD now is an ideal opportunity to catch up with one of 2023’s better horror films
Here’s the Cobweb trailer….
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL NOW AND ON BLU-RAY & DVD FROM 30 OCTOBER 2023