RECALL and DELAY - UPDATEDOn August 31st, the day I wrote the bulk of this review, it was announced that this Arachnophobia Blu-ray would be delayed from its scheduled September 4th release date to September 25th, because some review discs had encoding issues that were not up to quality standards. This is the first recall of finished product I've seen from Disney in a decade of covering their home video output. It's especially strange that it would come on a live-action catalog Blu-ray unlikely to hit six-figure sales anytime soon. A second review copy arrived yesterday, September 21. I've closely studied the packaging and can find no differences whatsoever to distinguish the pressings by case. With a BD-ROM drive, however, you can confirm that the discs are not identical in content. The recalled first pressing uses 29.2 GB of disc space, and the newer one occupies just 28.7 GB. In the BDMV/STREAM folder where you find the disc's video, each disc contains 46 files. On each disc, all but one of the files gives a date modified between June 18th and June 20th, 2012. The one exception is 00003.mts, the movie itself. On my first copy, it was 28,447,962 KB in size and last modified June 20, 2012. On my second copy, it is 27,906,594 KB and last modified September 5, 2012. I am both surprised and impressed that Disney could and would be able to strike a new presentation that quickly and still get it to me before the new street date. Left: The recalled original Blu-ray, lacking in contrast. Right: The same frame is darker on the corrected Blu-ray.VIDEO and AUDIO - UPDATEDArachnophobia's DVD was one of the most unsightly big studio efforts I ever bought, its non-anamorphic transfer just not looking very good at all. Blu-ray improves upon that a lot and with this second printing, I am satisfied. My main problem with my first review copy was that the colors were pale, undersaturated and lacking contrast. Astonishingly, that has been corrected in the 3-week turnaround time.The quick fix seems to have come at a cost, though, as edges appear to have been enhanced, with once smooth lines now looking jaggedy. Still, if a little on the dark side, the new results are much better. Blacks are no longer just gray. And there isn't the feeling of watching the movie through a filter. The element remains clean and boasts reasonable detail (you'll even spot a string attached to a spider as it crawls along a shower curtain rod!). At last, this looks the part of a $31 million-budget Steven Spielberg production. There's room for improvement, but this is good enough for most likely being the film's only release on the format. Left: The recalled original Blu-ray, lacking in contrast. Right: The same shot is darker on the corrected Blu-ray.The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack and a noticeable step up from the DVD's mislabeled 4.0 Dolby Surround mix. There are a few scenes where Trevor Jones' score really flares from all directions to nice effect. Dialogue is crisp and intelligible throughout. And the film gains two dubs and three foreign language subtitle streams in addition to the obligatory English SDH subs. BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGNArachnophobia is a rarity among Disney's 2012 catalog Blu-ray output, because it actually gains some extras over its DVD. In standard definition, the film was joined by a single production featurette and an original trailer.Both of those are preserved here, still in standard definition. The highly promotional short (2:48) adds narration, B-roll, and remarks from a psychologist and director Frank Marshall to trailer-ready clips. Though not mentioned on the case, the trailer (2:05) is also intact, looking and feeling so very 1990.In between those, we get two new inclusions in the same vein. "Frank Marshall Featurette" (3:10) is a slightly more extended (but still highly promotional) making-of, with more on using real spiders and additional looks at production. (Spot the misspelled title on the clapper!)"Venezuela Sequence" (1:29) looks at the filming of the prologue with behind-the-scenes footage and Marshall comments on the South American region's challenging conditions.Sadly but unsurprisingly, the half-hour TV special "Thrills, Chills & Spiders: The Making of Arachnophobia" does not surface here.The disc opens with trailers for Frankenweenie and Who Framed Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, followed by an anti-smoking truth spot. The menu's Sneak Peeks listing repeats the trailers before playing promos for The Avengers, ABC first season dramas, "Castle": The Complete Fourth Season, and still more ABC dramas. The scored menu gives us an up-close look at John Alvin's tasteful poster art, the only imagery with which the film has ever been released, although oddly the spider has been removed (as it was for the VHS and DVD covers, but not this Blu-ray's). Par for the studio, the disc does not resume, support bookmarks, or feature a full-color label. The ordinary Blu-ray case is not joined by insert, slipcover, or reverse side artwork.CLOSING THOUGHTSWhile my perception of Arachnophobia is no doubt shaped by childhood nostalgia, it objectively strikes me as simply a really fun and well-made horror movie. It may be a bit much for a 7-year-old to take on the big screen, but older kids and adults ought to enjoy the laughs and thrills this offers.Unsurprisingly, the Blu-ray is a pretty standard affair. The addition of two new making-of shorts, no matter how brief and trivial, is pretty sweet. And though imperfect, the feature presentation still easily represents the movie's best to date. I would recommend seeing and buying this disc to anyone. It might just make your Halloween night.Support this site when you buy Arachnophobia now from Amazon.com: Blu-ray / DVD / VHS
Obsidian knows that arachnophobia is a fairly common fear that could cause some to put the game down and never pick it up again. Enter Arachnophobia Safe Mode, a new accessibility mode that takes into account the fear of spiders.
Obsidian Entertainment was aware arachnophobia was a common fear, and this could drive away players who would otherwise enjoy the game. To combat this, the team put in an arachnophobia-safe mode, which can transform the spiders into something a bit more abstract.
Players can activate arachnophobia safe mode from Grounded's options menu in the accessibility tab. It's at the top of the menu, above other accessibility features like subtitles, colorblind mode, and an assistive screen reader.
For players with only minor arachnophobia or who are just curious about what the mode looks like, it's thankfully easy to test. It can be altered at any point while playing, so there's no investment in setting it up. A player can, for example, turn it on whenever they encounter a spider, then turn it off while going through regular gameplay.
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The Blu-ray offers the choice of the original French audio version with English subtitles (always the way to go) or the dubbed American cut (name actors include Marcia Gay Harden, Anjelica Huston and Matthew Modine). Extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette; the hilarious short film Extinction of the Saber-Toothed Housecat; and the U.S. theatrical trailer. 041b061a72