Fresh Meat #6: Cobweb (2023)

This was one of those horror films that has been generating some buzz, and I decided it was high time to check it out. Produced by horror movie icons Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, wait, what? Yes, indeed. You read that right. Samuel Bodin makes his feature film debut directing this script from Chris Thomas Devlin (Texas Chainsaw Massacre ‘22). The script, written in 2018, was on that year’s Black List, a list of the best unproduced screenplays, and finally got picked up and distributed by Lionsgate for a limited release in July of this year.  


An eight-year-old boy tries to investigate the mysterious knocking sounds that are coming from inside the walls of his house, unveiling a dark secret that his sinister parents have kept hidden from him. 

IMDb: 5.9 

Rotten Tomatoes: 58% 

Tagline: Sooner or later, family secrets creep out. 

I’m going to try and be fair, but I’m a little angry this morning as I planned to watch Day Zero, a Filipino zombie film starring ex-UFC fighter Brandon Vera, one I’ve been dying to see since I first saw it on the shelves of Wal-Mart. Not wanting to spend that much money on what was undoubtedly going to be a piece of shit, I waited for it to come to my streaming app. With it finally there, I eagerly turned it on only to have a subtitle nightmare. They were way off sync from the video, and I couldn’t tell who was saying what when and rather than throw my phone at the TV, I turned it off. I speak just un poco of Espanol, not enough to be able to watch a 90-minute movie, so I gave it up and turned this on. 

Honestly, this was probably the better choice, as this is a wonderfully shot, atmospheric slice of horror pie that gives you a good sugar buzz for a short amount of time, whereas Day Zero was destined to be some dessert that makes you fart uncontrollably until you shit all over the inside of your toilet. 

FYI, it is incredibly hard to differentiate actor Antony Starr (the father) from his role as Homelander on The Boys, and I am always distracted when he is on screen, especially when he is disciplining the boy. I keep expecting him to have red lasers come out of his eyes and killing someone. Spoiler alert: That doesn’t happen. 

The whole film has an overwhelming feeling of sadness; the wife, the son, while the father just oozes anger. The son is longing for a friend and to be loved. The mother used to be a teacher but seemingly resents her new role as an unemployed stay at home mother. Then, of course, there’s the secret that I won’t spoil here. And the ending that just goes off the rails batshit crazy. 

Another one of those “message” films, this one has to do with mental health, child abuse, belonging, being loved and fitting in. It’s almost at the expense of likable characters. You feel sorry for the boy, but that’s it. Ms. Devine is the substitute teacher that keeps meddling in the family’s business, coming off more as a nosy nuisance than a concerned teacher. You don’t really like or sympathize with anyone in the film, so it’s hard to get scared when they are in danger. 

Speaking of scares, there is a pretty terrifying dream sequence involving the father in the boy’s room and the mother running down the hall, but other than that, it’s fairly tame. This loose interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart hits a few nerves, but overall comes off a bit stale and tired. Not bad. Not great. Fitting of its 5.9 on IMDb.  

5.5/10 Stab Wounds 

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About RetRo(n) 60 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.