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10 Scariest Spiders In Horror Movies, Ranked

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The year 2021 was a bit of a banner year for spider-focused horror movies, with such releases as Spider in the Attic tapping into humanity’s profound fear of these eight-legged creatures. Indeed, there’s no question that the spider remains one of those creatures which haunt the collective human imagination.


They are a reminder of those aspects of nature that exist beyond human’s ability to completely control, and so it makes sense that so many horror movies would feature them in central roles. Thus, it’s worth taking a look at the creepiest and scariest spiders to have appeared in horror movies.

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10 Arachnophobia (1990)

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There are many great 1990s horror movies, but few are quite as viscerally disturbing as Arachnophobia. Tapping right into the name of the fear itself, the movie focuses on a dangerous species of spider that invades a small town and wreaks havoc.

It has a brooding, deeply suspenseful atmosphere, and there is something decidedly chilling about seeing the tiny creatures scuttle across the frame. Though it does have its comedic elements (it does have John Goodman in the cast), it nevertheless never loses sight of the fact that it is designed to frighten.

9 Tarantula (1955)

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A number of the scariest creature features emerged from the 1950s. Of particular note is Tarantula, which focuses on a tarantula which, fed a miracle nutrient, continues to grow and then to terrorize the human population.

Like so many of the other movies of the period, it is clearly an externalization of the fears of the time but, even now, the special effects are remarkably believable. In the end, there are few things more terrifying than a tarantula of truly gigantic proportions.

8 Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

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Though spiders are often frightening enough on their own, there seems to be something uniquely disturbing about them when, for whatever reason, they grow to mammoth proportions. That is precisely the conceit of Eight Legged Freaks, which sees the creepy crawlies exposed to toxic waste and the size increase that inevitably brings with it.

What is especially remarkable about this movie is how deftly it weaves together both its horror and its comedic elements. Often, the viewer finds themselves both laughing and disturbed in equal measure.

7 Itsy Bitsy (2019)

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One of the things that make spiders such a compelling part of the horror movie landscape is that they so easily tap into humanity’s darkest desires and fears. In Itsy Bitsy, this is made explicit, as a family is tormented by an entity that takes the shape of a malevolent spider.

In taking this approach, the movie literalizes the connection between primordial fears and the spider. Furthermore, in leaning more into practical effects rather than CGI, the movie manages to give its spider creature a level of creepiness seldom achieved in similar movies.

6 Spiders 3D (2013)

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Some elements of Spiders 3D will strike viewers as a bit ridiculous but despite this, the spiders actually manage to be some of the most chilling to appear in a movie of this type. There are, of course, the requisite mutations that see them grow to monstrous proportions, but in some ways they are just as terrifying when they are still small.

There is, in fact, something uniquely terrifying and visceral disturbing about seeing a swarm of them attack a person, particularly since such a thing is very unlikely to happen in the real world.

5 Ice Spiders (2007)

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Many 2000s creature feature movies are by turns ridiculous and unsettling, and Ice Spiders, as its title suggests, is definitely one of these. The movie, unsurprisingly, focuses on a group of skiers who are hunted by a group of spiders in the snow.

While this movie has all the signs of being made by Syfy, it also has to be said that there is something genuinely frightening about the idea of spiders suddenly having the ability to walk on (and hunt through) snow. As with other similar movies, the unsettling feeling stems from seeing such a well-known creature out of its habitat.

4 Webs (2003)

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Though it might seem as if it would be impossible to do something new with the idea of spiders, Webs is truly a unique movie, focusing as it does on a group of humans who find themselves in a parallel world ruled over by a vicious spider-like queen who controls her minions through her venom.

Though it has some silly premises, there’s no doubt that the central creature is a terrifying one. This particular creature design has generated exactly the type of being designed to haunt the mind of the viewer long after the movie has come to an end.

3 Earth Vs. The Spider (2001)

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The idea of a human being turned into something horrific and distinctively not human is one which repeatedly haunts the cinematic imagination, and makes for a great body horror movie. Here, it takes the form of a young man who, after injecting himself with an experimental serum, slowly transforms into a mixture of spider and human.

It is, in a way, a clever and at times disturbing inversion of the Spider-Man story, showing the true horror at the center of this particular superhero story. The creature that the movie’s protagonist, Quentin, becomes is a truly stunning and especially unsettling on-screen creation.

2 Arachnid (2001)

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There are many things that recommend Arachnid, beginning with its setting, which sees a group of explorers and scientists going to an island terrorized by giant spiders. ​​​​​​​

Despite being a tried-and-true convention in horror movies of this type, it does manage to make the viewer invest at least a bit in its characters. However, it’s the creatures who are the movie’s standout, and they are rendered remarkably realistically with special effects. As a result, they become convincing externalizations of humanity’s deep fears about the danger posed by spiders and their venomous ways.

1 The Mist (2007)

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The works of Stephen King have been adapted many times into movies, and one of the most notable examples is The Mist, which sees a small town terrorized by a group of creatures summoned by the mist of the title. ​​​​​​​

Among the many horrifying beings that torment the inhabitants of the town are terrifying spiders. It’s important to note that, in appearance, they look like the stuff of nightmares. The fact that they succeed in killing the wife of one of the main characters makes them even more terrifying.

Next: Salem’s Lot (2022) – 10 Iconic Stephen King Movies You Should Watch First

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