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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Cobweb - Old Shadows in New Walls

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

Released 07-21-2023

Watched 09-20-2023

Reviewed 10-02-2023

Available to Rent or Buy

"They weren't that bad then and they're not that good now, so who's crazy?"

In the realm of horror, it's essential to strike a balance between the familiar and the innovative to capture and maintain the viewer's attention. "Cobweb," a story surrounding young Peter and the ceaseless, mysterious tapping from inside his bedroom wall, aims to plunge the audience into a state of unease. However, instead of sinking into fresh, murky waters, we often find ourselves paddling in the shallows of familiarity.

Immediately, the premise triggers memories of other films that have delved into similar territories. Movies like "The People Under the Stairs" (1991), "The Attic" (2007), "Crawlspace" (2013), and "Hider in the House" (1989) spring to mind. Each of these films explored the concept of unseen, potentially malevolent entities residing unbeknownst to the inhabitants of a home. While it's entirely reasonable for genres to have overlapping themes, "Cobweb" struggles to set itself apart from its cinematic cousins.

However, the film isn't entirely void of redeeming qualities. The technical elements, for instance, shine through. The cinematography, with its dimly lit scenes and tight angles, aids in building a claustrophobic setting that mirrors Peter's mounting claustrophobia and paranoia. Sound design is another high point. The incessant tapping, eerily reminiscent of Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," plays an integral role, shifting from a background nuisance to a central character in its own right as the story progresses.

Performance-wise, the cast does their best with the material at hand. Peter's portrayal captures the innocence and vulnerability of a child caught between the dismissal of his parents and his own spiraling terror.

Yet, despite these strengths, the narrative is where "Cobweb" finds itself ensnared. Predictability reigns supreme. Each twist and turn feels telegraphed, making moments that should be shocking merely expected. Additionally, there's a sense of emotional distance. The audience, armed with their knowledge from similar stories, can see where the tale is headed, creating an unintentional barrier between them and the on-screen events.

In conclusion, "Cobweb" attempts to weave a tale of mounting horror and suspense. While it achieves this in moments, largely thanks to its technical prowess and sound design, it falters in delivering a unique narrative experience. For newcomers to the genre, it may offer a decent thrill, but for seasoned horror enthusiasts, it treads all-too-familiar ground.

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