Show Mobile Navigation
Movies and TV |

10 Creepiest Spiders in Movies

by Flamehorse
fact checked by Jamie Frater

It’s Halloween! We can’t let the last list of the day disappoint so not only are we publishing a great list about one of natures most horrifying creatures, it is also written by one of out most loved writers: Flamehorse. So read the list then head on out to your nearest Halloween party – don’t eat too much candy! Oh – WARNING: tarantulas!


Monster Trailer 1 – Tarantula (1955)

This was a campy, 1950s, giant monster movie. King Kong put this genre on the map, and with the advancements in technology, the special effects progressed beyond stop-motion by the time of this film.

It came out one year after Japan struck freakin’ gold with Godzilla, and some American genius said, “We’re all afraid of spiders! Let’s make one big one!” It didn’t really work, though, because the poor dumb monstrosity couldn’t skitter-skitter-skitter down the streets like a real spider would. Not all that scary, but still worth watching a giant spider tearing up a city and munching people. Especially to see Clint Eastwood bring the heat with a bombing run.


Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo
Tarantulas the deadly cargo (1977) – Penelope Windust – dead

A good, old-fashioned, ’70s exploitation film. This one exploits arachnophobia to the nth degree. A plane flying from South America has tarantula stowaways, just a few tens of thousands.

They get loose on the plane and actually bring the plane down in a California town by swarming over the pilots! Then the townspeople open the plane and let ’em loose.

They need to remake it with SAMUEL L. JACKSON!!



Dr. No

Apparently, even James Bond is terrified of them. It’s a huge tarantula, and the film makes it out to be extraordinarily poisonous. The moviegoers were fairly uneducated at the time.

Bond lies still, scared to death, until it gets off him, then all Hell breaks loose. Shame about the spider, but you don’t mess with Bond.


Home Alone

Joe Pesci probably took this part so people would stop thinking he’s a member of the Mafia. He and Daniel Stern are the best things in the movie.

They almost catch Macaulay Culkin in a hallway, and Stern leaps and grabs his ankle. Culkin looks around and finds his brother’s pet tarantula, picks it up and sets it right down on Stern’s face.

The scream should’ve gotten him an Oscar. He throws the spider away, it lands on Pesci, and Stern gets a hold of himself long enough to smash Pesci right in the sternum with a crowbar.

One of the few scenes in which the tarantula looks rather cute. He lives.


The Beyond
The Beyond (1981) – Trailer

This is a notorious Italian horror film from 1981, a cult classic now. Quentin Tarantino loves it. It involves a lynch mob crucifying a man at the beginning, whose death opens up a portal to Hell. Mm-hmm. Shakespeare. Pure Shakespeare.

In one of the shenanigans that transpires later, a librarian is startled by lightning, and falls off a ladder, knocking himself out. Then all the tarantulas in the world, including ridiculously fake ones, descend on him and rip his face apart! The sound effects are what make it so great. The spiders squeak like rusty hinges as they walk, and all the while, you hear something like boiling pretzels, that must be their chewing.


Nothing to Lose

One of the best comedies that few people appreciate. Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence team up (talk about differences). In one scene, Robbins has just been out in the desert at night, and is now driving his SUV back to town with Lawrence beside him.

“There’s a spider on your head, man.”

“Look, I’m sorry, I’m not up on all this jive talkin’, home boy lingo, what’s that supposed to mean? ‘There’s a spider on your head?’”

“It means there’s a spider on your motherf___n’ head, man!

Then the tarantula skitters around from Robbins’ temple right onto the center of his face. All while he’s driving. He slams on brakes, jumps and does what they used to call “the tarantella.” To “Scatman.” He sprayed his shoes with gasoline earlier, and somehow finds his matches with his heels. Lawrence is falling out of the car laughing.


The Return of the King
Lord of the Rings 3 | Shelob the Giant Spider

It was supposed to be in The Two Towers, as Tolkien wrote it, but the producers decided to hold off and make more money. I guess it was worth the wait, because computers can now make one creepy, hellacious, giant spider. The kind that moves fast, has foot-long fangs, plenty of eyes, hair, and even a stinger.

The spider is actually an amalgam of various New Zealand species that scare Peter Jackson for various reasons.

Trivia: If they ever decide to film The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s precursor to The Lord of the Rings, there’s a character in it named Ungoliant, who is a giant spider that makes Shelob look like…well, like spiders look in real life. Ungoliant dies in the book by becoming so hungry that she eats herself.


Arachnophobia Trailer

One of the very few good movies dedicated to an accurate depiction of what makes spiders scary. Not the giant ones. If they moved fast, that would be something, but really, all you need is one about the size of your palm. Make that hundreds about the size of your palm.

The spiders used in the film are Avondale spiders from New Zealand, Delena cancer ides. They’re scary-looking, but actually, they’re very friendly, as spiders go, and will crawl all over you without biting. You have to work hard to make them bite.

The creep-you-out-of-your-pants scene is at the end, when they all leave the nest and infest Jeff Daniels’ house, spreading all over the walls, the door, the TV, spewing out of the sink drain, up under the doorknobs, under the doors, hanging down from the ceiling. And in the film, they’re so poisonous that one bite will kill you in 5 seconds. Daniels pitches over the stairs and crashes into the basement, where Big Mama and Daddy are nesting.


This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse
Tarantula Scene from ‘This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse’

This is a little known 1960s masterpiece of creepiness. It’s a sequel to a film in which the main character is the villain, Coffin Joe. Sounds great, already, doesn’t it?

In the sequel, Coffin Joe is on the prowl again, looking for a woman to rape and have a son by. In one scene, he sets several dozen black tarantulas loose into a bedroom of several sleeping women. The spiders go everywhere, nice and slow, while he looks on. They crawl all over the women’s bare flesh, even on their faces. Then they wake up and it’s SCREAMING time!


Something Wicked This Way Comes
Movie Trailer – 1983 – Something Wicked This Way Comes

Once and for all, now and forever, Ray Bradbury hit the nail on the head with this idea. The lead characters, two preteen boys, have ticked off a supernatural villain running a demonic carnival. He manages to invade their dreams, and when they wake up, their bedrooms are swarming with hundreds of big, fat, black, hairy tarantulas. They’re covering the beds, under the sheets with the boys, all over the floors, on the doorknobs, up the walls! And they’re REAL TARANTULAS! Skitter-skitter-skitter.

fact checked by Jamie Frater