ITSY BITSY (2019)
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Flick has divorced home-care nurse Kara Spencer (Elizabeth Roberts) taking a job as a caretaker for an elderly man named Walter Clark (Bruce Davison). She movies into his guest house with her two kids Jesse (Arman Darbo) and Cambria (Chloe Perrin). Clark is a collector of ancient artifacts and has recently come into possession of an illegally obtained tribal vessel that when broken open unleashes a vicious entity that takes the form of an enormous and deadly spider. Now, unknown to them, it’s loose inside the house and out for blood…theirs.
Brought to us by Shout! Factory’s Shout! Studios, flick is directed by Micah Gallo from a script and story by Gallo, Jason Alvino and Bryan Dick. The movie is Gallo’s first full length feature and he does well enough. The flick gives us some solid underlying human drama as Kara is becoming addicted to pills due to the grief brought on by the loss of her third child. Davison’s Clark is also still mourning the death of his wife. It makes the characters human and thus sympathetic when our eight legged critter starts stalking the house, especially young Cambria. It’s also a bit of a drawback, as the film sometimes seems to focus more on the melodrama than the spider. When it does show up, it is effective enough and seems like it’s rendered mostly with old fashioned prosthetic and animatronic effects. There is also some bloodshed, though it’s not overly gory. There are some creepy moments, especially if you are not fond of arachnids and things do get quite suspenseful in the last act. Gallo does get good work out of his cast and his eight legged star and gives the film atmosphere.
As for that cast…human that is. Roberts is solid as Kara. She’s a woman in pain and not dealing all too well with her grief. Obviously, the threat to her children reawakens her inner strength. Bruce Davison is an old pro and makes Clark a likable man, even if his acquiring of some of his artifacts has him dealing with some shady people. Arman Darbo is good as Jesse. He’s old enough to understand that his mother’s addiction is making their lives more difficult and is developing a strong independent streak. Chloe Perrin is cute as Cambria and does her job well, as the script really only requires her to be cute and occasionally in peril. Denise Crosby rounds out the main cast as the town sheriff. She is a likable character and is sympathetic to Kara and her family. Well written characters and a cast well directed.
Overall, this is not a great movie, but it is an entertaining one. It’s not quite as scary as one hoped for, but does have some effective spider moments and a solid last act when it’s family vs arachnid. The film focuses heavily on the family drama and while it cuts down on spider time, it does create some well rounded characters. The spider is charming live effects, for the most part, and there is some modest bloodshed. An entertaining night on the couch. Stay through the credits for an additional scene.
Rated 3 (out of 4) webs.