Pests in film: Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

Pests are for many are a major nuisance and to some the cause of absolute terror. Arachnophobes for example (My self-included) would not be best pleased by the spiders depicted in this film. Fortunately, there are no known cases of spiders engulfing entire human beings or ripping open car doors. There is a scene in which a Trapdoor spider is shown which is terrifying and somewhat accurate! Much like in the movie, the real-life spider waits beneath ground until its prey is above it before swiftly springing up from its ‘trap door’ and attacking the prey.

Is there any validity to the way spiders are portrayed in this film?

The film managed to use a pretty diverse collection of spiders. They drew inspiration from and included over 10 different spiders such as the Jumping spider, Orb-weaver spider, Black Widow Spider, Tarantula (several species are featured, including the Pinktoe Tarantula, the Chilean Red Tarantula, the Mexican redknee tarantula, the Pink Foot Goliath, and the Goliath birdeater) Trapdoor spider, Australian funnel-web spider and Spitting spider. The sizes of these spiders are obviously massively inflated for cinematic effect but the colouring and markings on these spiders is pretty spot on, even down to the sizes of their legs and thorax are well proportioned.

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