Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Arachnophobia [Blu-ray]


(Frank Marshall, 1990)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Amblin Entertainment

Video: Walt Disney Video



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:49:31.731

Disc Size: 31,368,462,226 bytes

Feature Size: 29,130,713,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 38.58 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 25th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4238 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4238 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none



• Production Featurette (2:48)

Frank Marshall Featurette (3:10)

• Venezuela Sequence (1:29)

• Trailer (2:04)

• Info





Description: Everyone is afraid of something ... for Dr. Ross Jennings (Jeff Daniels), his phobia is downright embarrassing. But when he moves his family to a small town, the one thing that bugs him most is now harming the townspeople at an alarming rate. For this unlikely hero, overcoming a childhood fear of spiders might just save the community, but it may already be too late! Directed by Frank Marshall (Executive Producer, BACK TO THE FUTURE, Producer, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK) and also starring John Goodman, this critically acclaimed breathtaking hit entertains with its terrific mix of thrills, chills, and laughter!.



The Film:

Referring to the fear of spiders, Arachnophobia features a particularly deadly species of spider that manages to make its way from the Venezuelan rain forest to a small California town, thanks to the many oversights of entomologist Julian Sands. Yuppie doctor Jeff Daniels, fed up with the dangers inherent in big-city living, has resettled in this town on the assumption that nothing untoward could ever happen here to himself and his family. Before long, however, Daniels is trying to make sense of a series of sudden deaths-and to figure out why each of the corpses has been drained of blood. The audience, of course, knows that the culprits are those pesky South American spiders, which grow larger with each kill. To make matters worse, Jeff Daniels suffers from a profound case of arachnophobia. John Goodman supports the cast as a slovenly exterminator, and Frank Marshall, longtime producer of Steven Spielberg's films, makes his directorial debut in Arachnophobia.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Cancel that camping trip, and fix those holes in the screens. Today brings the advent of ''Arachnophobia,'' a gleeful horror film about deadly, bad-tempered tropical spiders for whom the word ''itsy-bitsy'' is truly a black joke.

Once imported to a small, picture-perfect California town, these spiders reproduce and thrive so enthusiastically that they turn up everywhere. And their leader is as big as a catcher's mitt. That sound you hear in the background is the ''ugh!'' heard round the world.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin at the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Arachnophobia appears upgraded from the deplorable SD - now on Blu-ray from Disney.  The film never looked particularly crisp and the contrast in 1080P remains dullish. It looks like that ineffectual stock we saw used with a lot of 80's films. I don't think it is the fault of the transfer which is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. There is very little depth. This Blu-ray probably faithfully represents the film but it is by no means a 'demo'. The outdoor, naturally lit, scenes are more impressive. There is sporadic noise and it looks almost bleached, although the Blu-ray probably looks like the film Arachnophobia and it advances beyond the last DVD editions - notably in detail.
















Audio :

We get a very lively DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at a monstrous 4238 kbps. Punchy, surprise, effects are rife and have plenty of jump to the rear speakers. There is some solid depth. Original music is by Trevor Jones (Excalibur and Dark City). It sounds very adept and occasionally atmospheric via the lossless. There are optional foreign-language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

All minor vintage stuff from the original DVD including a very short production featurette, a piece with director Frank Marshall, a segment on the 'Venezuela' sequence and a trailer.



Arachnophobia has some merit. Not a ton of it - but enough to sustain a reasonable night in the Home Theater. Essentially a modern 'creature-feature' which has good pace and suspense. Not too much more. The Blu-ray is hampered by the source and production limitations but it is worthy enough for fans of 'B'-style cinema to indulge. I kinda liked my viewing which is how I felt the first time I saw it years ago. Arachnophobia services its niche pretty well - a guilty pleasure that has just enough elements that 'work'.


NOTE: Some have reported that the initial screener discs are flawed and have been 'recalled' - hence the pushed-back release date. I don't *think* mine was the case but we will report here once we know more.

Gary Tooze

September 6th, 2012


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!