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Cobweb [Review]

Fairy tales could be considered a staple of childhood and while many of us are familiar with Disney’s sanitized and age-appropriate versions, most of these stories have much darker origins. Cobweb is both a nod to those stories, with a tip of the hat to shows like The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside. And like those shows from a by-gone era, this movie too feels like a lost gem from another time, albeit with a very modern film style.

Perfectly set during late October, the movie has a mysterious and dreadful tone right from the start. A child hear bumps in the nights and is not quite comforted by a set of very peculiar parents that are both fascinating characters and terrifying for no obvious reason. Also, are these people in this idyllic neighborhood farmers? Does that explain the sprawling pumpkin patch in the backyard full of rotting gourds? Is the house haunted? Is it the child possessed? For quite a while, we are held with agonizing questions of what the hell is going on. Eventually hell does break loose and the unfolding mysteries are answered one by one with an unexpected and grisly march to the end.

It’s an absorbing coming-of-age fable, a fairytale horror (!), and the kind of horror movie rarely made today – one for adults. I can imagine tweens rolling their eyes at most of this film. Nonetheless, the performances are stellar. The frights are non-stop and none are cheap jump scares. It's a low-budget production but every penny is on the screen, and, yes, CGI is what it is. But the story is good, the pacing is tight, the atmosphere is absolutely chilling. It keeps you guessing at every turn and keeps you entertained – a perfect Autumn treat for classic horror movie fans.

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