Itsy Bitsy (2019)

Director Micah Gallo’s creature feature has all the charm of 1990s director-to-video horror entries that made the genre so much fun to discover for the VCR generation. Instead of going for broke and painting the room red, Gallo instead focuses his camera on making his central creature (an oversized spider that houses a vengeful entity) all the more sinister and malevolent, and the result is an unsettling tone that’s impressively durable. The characters are fairly well developed for this type of low-budget entry, with Gallo’s screenplay (co-written with Jason Alvino and Bryan Dick) managing to inject just enough emotional history to get his audience to care about the characters without getting lost in unnecessary details or tiresome expository dialogue. It’s also nice to see Bruce Davison and Denise Crosby (of 1989’s “Pet Sematary”) in reasonably plum roles again, while the main cast is similarly impressively committed. All in all, it’s a fun little number that’s filled with memorably creepy shots and eerie atmosphere, and its obvious reverence for the genre makes it all the more compelling.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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