Humans Are Optimal – Spiders II: Breeding Ground (2001)

When comparing Spiders II: Breeding Ground to the film that preceded it, while essentially night and day, neither one really tops the other as being better. This second film has better actors, but moves at a glacial pace which really hurts it as it continually threatens having the audience leave in search of something better. It is only at those breaking points where it offers a glimmer of hope that something interesting might happen that keeps the viewer watching, only to once again be disappointed. It is during the last third of the movie that things finally pick up and once they do, it is not as exciting as one would hope – giant spiders or not. It is not an inherently bad movie, there is simply not enough to keep one interested and when things do manage to gain momentum, it is too little too late.

The bid difference between the two films, aside from the acting, is the story and how the spiders come about. In the first movie, they were being tested on up in outer space and it is an accident that brings them back to Earth and let loose upon the population. Here, people are being purposely infected with the spiders in some sort of strange and inhumane project by a mad scientist out on a boat in the middle of an ocean. It is the perfect setting to conduct said experiments and does manage to create an air of claustrophobia that works perfectly once the spiders are on the loose. As for the special effects that would bring them to life, they too were much better than the first film in the series and aside from the odd shot that looked more than a little fake, on the whole, the spiders were much more frightening which is how they should have been in the first place and the reactions to them much more convincing.

If only things had picked up a little sooner or the characters a little more personable, the movie might have been a lot better. As it was, Spiders II was a fairly solid B film, but not one anybody would even think of watching more than once. The same fact can be stated about the first film in the series and at least in that respect, both films stand on equal footing.

2 out of 5

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