Dr Ross Jennings (Daniels), his wife (Kozak) and their two children uproot from the urban sprawl to a picturesque Californian small town. But the locals are distrustful of the city slickers - feelings compounded when the new doctor's patients start dropping dead. A poisonous spider, accidentally imported from the Venezuelan rain forests, has also taken up residence, and its deadly offspring are making house calls outside surgery hours. For his directorial debut, long-time Spielberg producer Frank Marshall has crammed the screen with plenty of knee-jerk thrills interlaced with black humour. Subtlety of characterisation is secondary to the antics of the 'little vampires', with victims conveniently earmarked (gluttons, a jock and an unshaven whinger receive painful lessons in social rejection), and John Goodman easily upstaging his co-stars in a glorious appearance as a bull-headed pest controller. Designed to reduce the audience to a squirming mass, the film yields plenty of grisly pleasures.