You Completely Missed Lizzy Caplan’s 2023 Horror Masterpiece


  • Cobweb is a masterpiece of horror that has been overlooked by audiences and critics, despite its gripping plot and tense atmosphere.
  • The film effectively places the audience in the shoes of the young protagonist, Peter, allowing us to experience the horrors through his perspective.
  • Lizzy Caplan delivers a standout performance as Peter’s paranoid and deranged mother, while Anthony Starr portrays a character who starts off as a friendly father figure but becomes increasingly sinister.

In the past few years, audiences have had the opportunity to watch some top-notch horror films. But this year, as we come closer to Halloween, the expectation is that they will begin to ramp up. That being said, there is a film that has already arrived without the fanfare it deserves.

This film, Cobweb, is not just an overlooked gem; it is a masterpiece of horror that has been ignored by audiences and critics. So what is it about, and why is it worth your time?

Plot of Cobweb

Cobweb horror movie with Woody Norman

A young boy named Peter (Woody Norman, C’mon C’mon) is haunted by sounds coming from behind his bedroom wall. He is also relentlessly bullied by other children at school. At home, his parents seem distant and take little interest in him except to tell him that he is not allowed to go out on Halloween because, years before, a girl had disappeared.

Peter’s teacher, Miss Devine, takes a liking to him and becomes concerned when he makes a disturbing painting at school depicting a jet-black room with himself screaming for help. Miss Devine approaches Peter’s parents, Carol (Lizzy Caplan, Fatal Attraction) and Mark (Anthony Starr, The Boys), who assure her that Peter has personal issues and she shouldn’t be worried. Carol accuses Peter of airing their family issues and scolds him.

Related: Exclusive: Cobweb Director Samuel Bodin and Young Actor Woody Norman Deliver the Frights

As the sounds continue, a voice begins to emerge, calling itself Sarah and telling Peter that his parents have imprisoned her in the walls and that they are not good people. When Sarah urges Peter to injure his bully at school, Peter is expelled, only to have his parents lock him in their hidden basement as punishment. While locked in, Peter discovers a locked grate covering a pit.

As things begin to unravel for Peter, Miss Devine continues to show interest even as his parents’ behavior becomes increasingly strange. As Sarah continues to whisper to Peter about his parents and their possible misdeeds, the boy falls into a spiral that leaves him, his parents, and Miss Devine finding out exactly what Sarah is capable of.

Viewpoint Is Everything

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The film knows how to hold its tension by putting the audience with the young child and viewing the horrors through his eyes. The fact is that, much like in other horror movies, we are left with fears at every turn. Not only is Peter troubled by the sounds and voices in his walls, but he is also being bullied at school.

Not to mention that he has overprotective parents who seem opposed to outside people knowing their business. Even their paranoia over trick-or-treating at the beginning of the film seems to be paranoid thinking and also a way to frighten their son into going along with their mode of thinking.

When a horror audience is placed with a child, we are also left to question adults. However, a child may also be an unreliable narrator. Are we getting the story from an audience perspective, or are we about to see something only the child can see? The tightrope of reliability is out the window when it comes to movies where the child is the centerpiece.

Cobweb does the job of making sure you understand the stakes far in advance. It also proposes the idea that no matter what you think might be happening, it is probably a lot worse.

Great Acting From Great Actors

Cobweb Movie (1)

One of the main things to remember is that Peter’s paranoid and overprotective mother is played by Lizzy Caplan. Caplan has primarily featured in comedies, although she has moved to drama with shows like Masters of Sex and Fatal Attraction. And boy, can she play deranged.

Cobweb seems to be her entre into a horror role that comes along every few years: The mother we can’t trust from the very beginning. Evil moms are a great horror trope (see Friday the 13th), and Caplan pulls it off with complete believability. Her doe eyes present a mock innocence that you know the actor knows she is expressing. This woman is confident in her role, and the audience benefits greatly from it.

Related: Lizzy Caplan and Anthony Starr Unravel Haunting Family Secrets in Cobweb Trailer

Peter’s father is played by Anthony Starr. Starr is no stranger to playing awful people. His turn as Homelander in The Boys has been a masterclass in evil. He is able to alter his smile in just a way so that he expresses true disdain for whoever is in front of him. In this film, he starts as the on-your-side kind of “hey buddy” kind of dad but soon devolves into something far more sinister. His attitude towards Miss Devine is pure held-back rage, and his concept of fatherhood is questionable at best.

Worth the Watch

Cobweb Movie (2)

We are due for a film with a frightened child vs. parents/evil unknowns. Cobweb delivers in a way that is the perfect starter for the Halloween season. If there is an underdog film that people will find later, it is Cobweb. People who love horror should seek it out before it fades from the public consciousness.

Watch Cobweb on Apple TV and Amazon.