Kara (Elizabeth Roberts) has a lot going for her… all of it bad. She is a former pill-popper, she killed one of her kids in a car accident, and her marriage has fallen to shit and back… so naturally Kara wants to get the hell out of dodge. To that end, she shoves her still-living brood, Jesse (Arman Darbo) and Cambria (Chloe Perrin0), into the car and moves cross country to take a position as caregiver to former treasure hunter Walter (Bruce Davison).
Long story short; Walter owns an ancient artifact that contains a fucking huge spider that is tied to the spirit of a goddess, and that beastly bitch gets loose causing all manner of mayhem for our heroes… eventually.
You see, the thing is, Itsy Bitsy has a bit of a focus problem. Is it a heavy-handed domestic drama, or is it a delirious creature feature? It’s both, and therein lies a problem pacing wise, and let’s be perfectly honest here; who in the unholy fuck watches a film about a big honkin’ spider to see a mother deal with addiction, PTSD, and the loss of a child?
That’s not to say these sequences are bad; quite the contrary as Roberts is aces at generating viewer sympathy, and we actually give a damn for her plight. Davison is also in excellent form as the likable Walter… a character that at his core is kind of a shit heel with the whole swiping shit from indigenous people bag, yet still engaging and warm. Also of note, kudos to Darbo and Perrino for playing child characters you can not only tolerate, but root for!
Speaking of acting, it’s great to see Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Denise Crosby (as the town Sherrif) and Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist, Clownado) in this fright flick as well… but that’s just nerd icing on this creepy cake.
What should really be applauded here though is the practical effects used to give that eerie eight-legged menace life; this is one hell of a creation, and it not only convinces, but freaks ya the fuck out too! Additionally, when the spider-based sequences are present they feature an excellent amount of tension and suspense… so ghoulish good job there!
As for bonus materials, there is a nice selection present including; a featurette on the film’s origins, behind-the-scenes footage, a piece focusing on Crosby on set, a Kickstarter featurette detailing various parts of the films production, a ridiculous (and hilarious) short involving Andy Dick as the film’s creature, a storyboard gallery, and the film’s trailer… as well as two audio commentaries; one featuring the films Co-writer/Director Micah Gallo solo, and the other featuring Gallo with Co-writers Bryan Dick and Jason Alvino.
While being overly melodramatic, Itsy Bitsy is nevertheless an effective creature feature destined to raise a hair or two on that noxious neck of yours!
For another take on Itsy Bitsy, be sure to read Killer Kelli’s review right here!