Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Antony Starr, Woody Norman, Cleopatra Coleman, and Debra Wilson
Director: Samuel Bodin
Knowing nothing more than it starred Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr, I went into Cobweb completely blind. I didn’t even watch the trailer beforehand, and I’d recommend you do the same because this movie succeeds on the strength of its creepy mystery and suspenseful atmosphere, which could be lost if you go in with any awareness. Admittedly, the way the story plays out leaves a little to be desired, but the effective jump scares, a few excellently shot scenes, and just the general ambiance of it all are more than enough to make this 90-minute under-the-radar gem an easy choice for horror heads.
The atmosphere of Cobweb is thick, and it does a lot of things quite well. The scares are decent, the sound design is effective, and once the second act starts, the tension ramps up a decent bit. On the other hand, the things it doesn’t do as well kind of overwhelm its competently directed mystery, namely the script and characters (apart from Woody Norman’s) are a bit all over the place. There is a reason for it, but the execution of that reason leaves something to be desired. All that said, the film’s tight runtime does help mitigate any boredom.
Through the first half of Cobweb, I was hooked by its haunting vibe and the potential directions it could go. Although its latter portion turns up the intensity a ton, it loses the eerie tone that gives the film its strong start, which holds it back from reaching the heights of a film like Talk to Me. That said, the underrated Antony Starr, the reliably unhinged Lizzy Caplan, and Woody Norman (coming off an award-worthy performance in C'mon C'mon) are pitch-perfect casting, shining on screen to elevate the material. Thanks to this, it's worth a watch, just go in as blind as possible.