Cursed idols, vengeful gods and rich collectors of things that should be left the fuck alone. Itsy Bitsy, the first feature from Micah Gallo takes these elements and adds a troubled single mother to the mix. The result is a film with a bit more on its mind than the usual giant spider flick. Perhaps a bit too much.
Ahkeeba (Treva Etienne, Voodoo Possession, Black Hawk Down) has just gotten his hands on The Black Egg of Maa-Kalaratri. In doing so he had to kill several of its worshipers. But since he blames them for the death of the woman who raised him like a son that doesn’t bother him much.
As this is happening Kara Spencer (Elizabeth Roberts, Downstream) is moving cross country with her kids Jesse (Arman Darbo) and Cambria (Chloe Perrin, The Diabolical). She fleeing a failed marriage and the memory of her third child, killed in a car accident while she was driving. She’s taken a job as a live-in caretaker for Walter (Bruce Davison, Along Came The Devil 2 , Corbin Nash). Willard is a former treasure hunter now mostly confined to a wheelchair since the death of his wife. He says she died of malaria, Ahkeeba says she was poisoned.
I don’t think I have to tell you that yes there is a creature attached to that relic and it does get loose. What I should tell you is that for most of the film it’s irrelevant. Itsy Bitsy focuses as much on domestic drama as it does horror up until the final act. Most of the film centers around Kara’s battle with opioid addiction. And with Jesse’s resentment at being forced to move and play parent to Cambria.
The drama is well enough handled, and the acting is solid. That includes appearances by familiar faces Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Pet Sematary) as Sheriff Dunne and Eileen Dietz (Clownado, The Exorcist) as a waitress. The thing is though, who watches something like Itsy Bitsy for heavy drama?
It’s certainly nice to see a film like this that has depth to its script rather than just a bunch of stereotypes getting killed. But Itsy Bitsy goes a bit too far in that direction. People expecting a typical creature feature may well get bored.
When we do see the eight-legged creature it’s a nicely done puppet. Gallo’s background is in effects and he brings that expertise to Itsy Bitsy. I just wish he’d shown it off more. Especially as the film is effective when it does switch into horror mode. That includes the post-credits scene.