Web of the Spider / Nella stretta morsa del ragno (1971)

2.5 out of 5

Web Of The Spider is one of a few Edgar Allan Poe adaptations made by director Antonio Margheriti, and this particular one is based on Poe's Night Of The Living Dead. Klaus Kinski shows up to chew the scenery and collect a quick paycheck here as Edgar Allan Poe himself, and in the film an acquaintance of his challenges a cocky reporter and skeptic of Poe's various writings of the paranormal and supernatural to spend the night in his home, and if he makes it out the following day without losing his mind, he wins the bet. The reporter, played by Anthony Franciosa from Tenebre, accepts the challenge and spends the night in what turns out to be a haunted house.

At its best, Web Of The Spider is a genuinely eerie film, but for the most part it's a very predictable and by-the-numbers ghost story. Riz Ortolani's score, while good in its own right, is a bit overwhelming and LOUD at times, which takes away from the more atmospheric and tense moments that the film has to offer. Recommended only to Margheriti completists and Poe enthusiasts, and cautiously recommended as a curiosity viewing. Otherwise, don't bother.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics