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Old 12-16-2003, 12:52 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
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Silmaril **RotK - Shelob**

What do you think of Shelob - did she seem scary to you?
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:12 PM   #2
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I thought Shelob was done very well and was indeed rather scary. The stealth scene where she creeps up on Frodo was fantastic. Although it took a stretch of the imagination to imagine Sam going as long as that in a fight with a spider that size.
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:30 PM   #3
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I am terrified of spiders beyond all logic and reason. I am seriously starting to think that I became so arachnophobic from reading about Shelob when I was young. That scene is the entire reason why, to this very day, I freak out when I see a little house spider on the wall.<P>So yes, I thought she was pretty scary.
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:31 PM   #4
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Shelob was scary indeed. I liked the whole scene, the way she sneaked up to Frodo and the fight with Sam. Really good.
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:42 PM   #5
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She was pretty good, but I think she should have been alot bigger. And she should have seemed more intellegen, althought I have a wierd interpretation of Shelob so don't mind me, in fact I think of her with a woman's head but really dark and creepy, but oh well.
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:48 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I am terrified of spiders beyond all logic and reason <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>to this very day, I freak out when I see a little house spider on the wall. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Dito! So yes, I was very scared of Shelob. Even BEFORE I saw Shelob I was terrified. I knew what was in that cave and the whole time I'm just expecting her to jump out. The Shelob scene was defintly the most intense scene for me. And when She sneaked up behind Frodo - Gah!!! Gave me the shivers. The whole time I was having that creapy somethings-crawling-up-my-leg feeling. <P>But, the scene was a bit less intense because the whole time my friend would keep saying - "Sam's going to show up now isn't he?" "Sam's going to be right there!" "Where's Sam?" I wanted to hit her! But oh well, it didn't really affect it THAT much. It was actually a bit funny. <P>But yes, loved Shelob and was thoroughly terrified.
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:55 PM   #7
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Very good. She was scary, menacing, and the webs bit where Frodo stumbled scared rocked.<P>She was a bit small though, and the whole "The Choices of Master Samwise" bit was done infinitely better in the books. Damn time "constraints" I would have sat through a bit more. <P>Also, it didn't quite capture the Sam who , a small creature armed only with tiny teeth, charges a tower of hide and horn standing over the body of its fallen mate.<P><BR>Oh, and the pikey kids in the cinmea thought dead frodo was funny. Actually, they laughed every damn time they saw a hobbit. I hope they all get ripped to shreds by wolves and devoured by disease.
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:56 PM   #8
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Sting

OK, that was one, creepy CGI critter! Attacking Shelob was great, and came across very like I pictured her in the book. <P>But I thought she was at her scariest <I>after</I> she stung Frodo and was wrapping the body in silk with that blank-eyed stillness. (SHUDDER!) Too creepy. That's a scene that could come back in nightmares.
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:04 AM   #9
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No pikey kids in the theater with me, thank Eru. I was with a bunch who, by and large, were owned by the movie.<P>I thought Shelob's Lair was overdone, too bright with too many bodies lying around. I expected Psycho-shower-scene music at any moment. Granted, the pitch black in the books would be utterly boring on screen, but there was still a bit of "It shouldn't look like that!" going on in my head.<P>But afterwards, when she crept up on him outside, that was great. Hoooo boy.<P>Shelob. Going for a more realistic spider look was, I think, a good idea. I like Tolkien's description of her, but when I've seen artist's renderings of it I often think "no... not right". With this one, they weren't trying to copy the description, so they couldn't fail. And I hate spiders. I often wake up and jump out of bed and have to turn on the light after a spider dream.<P>Can't wait to go to bed tonight. Wonder what I'll dream about....<P>...Well, if it involves Sam coming to the rescue though....
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Old 12-18-2003, 06:14 PM   #10
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I'm not particularly afraid of spiders unless they're *on* me, but I did find her scary. Her scenes with Frodo were better than her scenes with Sam, though. I had a hard time believing he could grab her mouth parts like that and get away with it.<P>-Lily
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Old 12-18-2003, 06:21 PM   #11
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Sting

heh..Shelob didn't scare me..but that may be, because I love spiders. I also had that 'it shouldn't look like this' feeling for a moment, but reasonably..it is a movie, they can't make it pitch-black. I thought she would have been a lot bigger, myself, but..overall, it was pretty spiffy.
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Old 12-18-2003, 06:23 PM   #12
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Sting

When Frodo managed to escape the webs I thought for a crazy moment that they had cut his 'death' and the whole Sam vs Tower thing out. Thank God they did it so well. Would have liked more Sam after Shelob but the fight was great and she looked amazing herself. A perfect image because she actually looked like a real spider that could exist, not some overblown piece of CGI that didn't work (*cough* TTT Legolas *cough*).
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Old 12-18-2003, 06:45 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> did she seem scary to you? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>No way, Estelyn. She was <B>just a big spider</B>. Totally animalistic, nothing sinister about her at all. Even my wife wasn't scared! She rightly pointed out that creepy-crawlies aren't scary if you can't see their eyes.<P>I think the Shelob scenes in the movie worked well, although there were certainly some moments that were strung out a bit too much. Many, many posters have referred to Peter Jackson as a horror director before. This is in fact an error. His early movies such as Braindead, Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles were splatterfest, not horror. As for <I>The Frighteners</I>, that was a very toned down pop-horror that was only scary because of its violence (like that chick with the knife - eeya! scary!) The type of anticipation and fear that films like <I>The Shining</I> convey are far beyond the grasp of Peter Jackson, and Shelob's Lair regrettably showed that. <P>We missed out by not seeing Shelob as a brooding presence before her attack, and her eyes had no character at all. In fact why am I saying "her"? That was just a spider with no personality, no evil, and so we missed out on a great opportunity to be <B>really</B> frightened. Tolkien's description of the impenetrable darkness and filth of her lair was reduced to: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> What's that horrible smell? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>It wasn't even dark! <P>Dear Galadriel: thanks for the light of Ešrendil, turns out we didn't need it after all! Shelob's lair is nice and airy, with some good mood lighting, and it turns out that when you shove the Phial in her face she doesn't really mind too much. One of them knives would have been cooler!<P>I agree that Sam's emotion wasn't conveyed well enough, either. There should have been a tear at least. This is Samwise Gamgee we're talking about, not <B>the Saminator</B>. Personally I would have liked to see him use both swords, dropping one at the last minute for the final stab. I don't think that Sam winning the fight was convincing enough, and PJ should have made a point that Shelob impaling herself was what really hurt her. But of course with that ridiculous stinger there, that would have been difficult to do. Also, there is a time for lugging your precious cooking gear around, and a time to put it down. Which time would this be, Sam?<P>The scene where Shelob crept out of the crack and finally stung Frodo was good, and helped to redeem this part of the movie somewhat. But again, the fact that she had crept up above Frodo was overplayed, if only slightly. <P>I don't see any reason why Gollum had to attack Frodo. Wasn't he bound to his oath to the master of the Precious? The one which he swore on the Precious? I think it would have worked better just to have him slink off and return later. His coming back from that fall off the cliff is too unbelievable.
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:41 PM   #14
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Absolutely wonderful. Shelob was one of my favs in teh whole film. I can't wait to see it again, just so I can see her.
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Old 12-19-2003, 01:12 PM   #15
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While I was impressed with the CG I must agree with most of the board...she was to impersonal. She was not sinister she was just hungry. (well apparently not she had enough leftovers lying around) I was not impressed with her fight with Master Samwise either. I always pictured him overwhelming her. Such anger and passion coming from such a small thing was alien and confusing to her and she was caught offguard. His decision to carry the Ring was also cut out...that robbed the scene of the much needed emotion. This book/movie is full of emotional, sure death moments, this scene was merely entertaining.
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Old 12-19-2003, 03:39 PM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Absolutely wonderful.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>Indeed!<P>I thought Shelob was done very well (you people who don't are too picky), and I, non-arachnaphobe that I am, was thoroughly creeped out. I really liked the bit when she's sneaking up behind Frodo; I just wanted to scream at him, "SHE'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU, GET OUT OF THERE!!!" But then my friend started humming the Jaws theme and made me laugh, so I didn't yell. <P>And I happened to like the Saminator, so <P>Abedithon le,<P>~*~Aranel~*~
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Old 12-19-2003, 03:47 PM   #17
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Sting

I'm also a full-fledged arachnophobe (well, I'm only scared of big spiders, the little ones that I can kill easily don't scare me) so when Shelob came on the scene, I was literally quaking in my seat. Despite what other people think, I think those scenes were done beautifully. Could anyone else have done better?
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Old 12-19-2003, 05:23 PM   #18
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I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm not looking forward to that scene. Big spiders give me the creeps.
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Old 12-21-2003, 06:34 AM   #19
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I was disappointed with Shelob in the movie. All that seemed to be done was that Peter Jackson just magnified a random spider he found on his 'dunny' a couple of thousand times! She did not portray the fear she should have done.
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:31 PM   #20
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Personally I don't care about spiders one way or the other (I can take care of my sister's pet tarantulas without problem, for instance) but Shelob almost had me under the theatre seat. I see what you mean, Diamond - it was the fact that she was so *agile* that made her so scary - and of course spiders are agile, but the way she was described in the book always made me think of a lumbering hulk that can't turn around very fast, despite Tolkien assuring us of her hunting abilities. <P>As for being too impersonal - well, I don't see how you could get the personalization that you get in the book unless you want to introduce a voiceover at that point, because what we know of her is entirely through Tolkien's exposition. She doesn't talk, and there's no way on earth Frodo would have an inkling of "Hey, this is the last child of Ungoliant!" The fact that she was going to sting Frodo and suck him dry made her frightening enough for me.
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Old 12-22-2003, 03:41 AM   #21
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I was actually very happy to see that Shelob was done fairly well. <P>We have all seen spiders in other movies and I was a little concerned that we were going to be terribly disappointed (it could have been horrible). <P>I wish they had shown refracted view from Shelob's eyes so that you could have gotten the effect of how the light bothered her especially after having been stabbed.<P>I thought the fight with Sam was a little over done and I didn't find her terribly frightening, but all together I thought it came off very well.
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:22 PM   #22
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Although it took a stretch of the imagination to imagine Sam going as long as that in a fight with a spider that size. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> Oh really?! Well I thought Sam was brilliant in that scene. <P>Well, perhaps it was because I was watching that part of the movie at about 1 to 2 o'clock in the morning but Shelob totally freaked me out. And afterwards, when Sam was leaning over Frodo, it was the first time I had ever cried in a movie.<P>Not that it couldn't have been better. I would have liked to see Gollum glouting at Sam as he strangles him and I also thought Shelob could have been bigger.<P>Other then that, I'm a happy hobbit!
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:33 PM   #23
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Silmaril

I was very pleased with Shelob, probably partly because I went to the theatre with a dreadful thought planted in my mind by a review my mom told me about that called Shelob "a giant spider straight out of Harry Potter." So I was almost expecting it to be like that, and when it was better I was very relieved. Stupid fat reviewer, spoiling nice movie...
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Old 12-22-2003, 04:31 PM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR><I>Diamond18:</I>I thought Shelob's Lair was overdone, too bright with too many bodies lying around. I expected Psycho-shower-scene music at any moment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Agreed. I was sure that this was some PJ addition before the Shelob encounter. When I found that it WAS the Shelob encounter.... <P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Granted, the pitch black in the books would be utterly boring on screen....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>There is plenty of movie convention concerning how to show pitch black without it looking like the <I>fairy queen ice-capades</I>. The only boring things were how long it took before Frodo finally encountered Shelob and the duration of the encounter itself, both of which were PJ's choice. (Shorten the scene, and follow the convention and there would have been no boredom.)<P>Oh...AND WHY, OH, WHY did he make it so bright in there? What possible good could the Phial of Galadriel provide in a battle with this creature in the movie-brightness of its lair? In the books, Shelob was hurt/partially blinded and disoriented with the light of Earendil. <P>But in the movie--did I miss something? PJ could have cut out the gift of the Phial and its worthless use and saved more time for his 'improvements' on Tolkien. Good thing PJ downplayed the stench of Shelob's lair. A massive quantity of odor leaks out at the same places the light streams in.
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Old 12-22-2003, 04:55 PM   #25
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The worthy <B>Bugtussle</B> has exposed all of the flaws that I found to be highly annoying about this scene. Also, Gollum's apparent indecisiveness about whether he was going to attack Frodo or not, and Frodo's continuing refusal to believe that Smťagol attempted to murder him. How stupid <B>is</B> movieFrodo?? <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> called Shelob "a giant spider straight out of Harry Potter." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Hmm... I had forgotten about that scene in <I>The Chamber of Secrets</I>. As counter-productive as it is, I think that if we were making comparisons, HP gets my vote. Peter Jackson's Shelob didn't look any more evil or convincing, and I was actually frightened during that scene in Harry Potter. In <I>Return of the King</I> I was more upset at Galadriel giving such a useless gift to the Ringbearer. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Aiya Ešrendil! Elenion ancalima! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>didn't come out half as well as it should have. Instead, that line also looked like it was plucked straight out of Potterdom. Instead of giving strength to Frodo it only served to power up the light, which of course he needed because it was <B>so</B> dark! If there were subtitles they would probably have read: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Go, Go, Gadget Phial! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 12-22-2003, 06:35 PM   #26
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After those Wargs in TTT, I was concerned about the representation of Shelob in this film. I was particularly worried that she would be unrealistic and/or unrepresentative of what she was supposed to be. Happily, she was spot on for me.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> Going for a more realistic spider look was, I think, a good idea. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Too right, Diamond. I realise that she was slightly different than Tolkien's desription, but she is essentially, in the book, a giant spider. So, for me, that is always what she had to be in this film. And that it what Jackson and WETA gave us. I thought that she worked perfectly, particularly her totally accurate (and utterly unnerving) spider-like movements. Had they tried to remain wholly true to Tolkien's description (by adding on horns etc) I feel that some of the realism would have been lost, and she would not (for me, as a self-confessed arachnophobe) have been nearly as terrifying. And they gave her the unspider-like stinger, which was true to Tolkein's description (and provoked an audible "Eeeuugh" in the cinema where I was when first seen).<P>Personally, I thought that she was quite large enough, thank you. She was about the size that I imagined her in the books. Any larger, and it would have been impractical having her move so quickly through those passages, let alone crawling nightmarishly in and out of crevices. Also, it would have been difficult to get a proper view of her, even in the long shots.<P>I take your point about her intelligence being insufficiently depicted, Mr Platypus. Perhaps it would have worked to have a kind of intelligent glimmer in her eyes, although this could have made her look ridiculous if not done absolutely correctly. Certainly, the strategies that she employed, particularly in retreating and then crawling out to ambush Frodo, displayed cunning if not intelligence. I felt that she was portrayed with sufficient intelligence, but maybe I am influenced by having read the book. I wonder how non-book readers saw her in this regard.<P>I have to say that it didn't occur to me while watching the film that her lair was not as dark as it is in the book. It was certainly dark enough for me, and I think that we have to allow a little "artistic licence" here, to enable us to see what is going on (and also to see the gruesome fixtures and fittings of her lair, which I thought were great).<P>I approve of the device to separate Frodo and Sam for the journey through the lair (although I would have preferred it if Sam had not actually set off for home). I thought that it worked well having Frodo encounter her alone, with Sam then turning up in the nick of time. The scene where Shelob crawls out of a fissure and lurks momentarily above Frodo, while he looks one way and then the other without seeing her, was inspired - the stuff of nightmares.<P>As for Frodo's encounter with Gollum just prior to this, I think that this probably could have been left out. Although I think that it was good that Frodo has the opportunity to show him pity once again, harking back to Gandalf's words about pity staying Bilbo's hand. I was certainly relieved to see that Frodo did not push Gollum over the precipe (which, at one point, I thought might happen) since that would have destroyed the whole point of Frodo's pity leading to Gollum's presence, and the rather important role he plays, at Sammath Naur.<P>All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire Shelob sequence (in a seat-fidgeting, neck-hairs-standing up kind of way).
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Old 12-23-2003, 01:41 AM   #27
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Sting

I think the Shelob scene was one of the most perfect scenes of the movie.<P>I have never seen so much audience reaction for a scene before (not even for a scary film). My theater had a large group of arachnophobics in it and when Shelob creeped up behind Frodo, everyone was terrified. There were gasps and the 'oh my's. In the back, there was a very frightened person who was wailing words I cannot remember. And of course when she stung Shelob, there came the ultimate gasp. A similar reaction happened with the audience the second time I saw the movie, which pleased me since they never cheered.<P>If I were to request any changes for that scene, I would say more Sam was needed.
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:31 AM   #28
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OMG!!! ARE YOU KIDDIN"?!!!!<P>That is my ABSOLUTE favourite part of the book!!! And when PJ didn't know it in the second one I was the only one in the theatre that stood up and yelled "Wait a minute?! WHERE THE HELL IS SHELOB?" The most aggrevating thing for a reader of the books is to leave the movie and hear all these non-readers whispering "Who's 'She'?" (Gollum plotting to himself).<P>I watched the EE and totally understand now why PJ left her for the ROTK, coz on numerous occasions I'd stop after the second book as you feel depressed when Sam's locked oustside the large doors. From the books I always imagined her scurrying along the side of a battlement wall while Frodo tried to run along the top of it and then she'd SPRING up in front of him and jab him with her stinger.<P>But PETER TAKE A BOW! <P>Seriously, my friends had to hold me down in my seat when her part was coming up. I love how he didn't show her fully until she crept outside. And I loved her stealthily looming above him. And I loved her many brilliant eyes. And I loved her fight with Sam (she looked like she was going to win there). But the best bit is that PJ showed that she wasn't exactly dead, that she had crept back into her chambers to recouperate. <P>Mind you didn't understand how her stinger got through the Mithril shirt in the movie (yes he is wearing it coz later the orcs are fighting over it).
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Old 01-18-2004, 05:53 AM   #29
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You've seen Jaws, now comes a new breed of terror... Shelob.<P>Definitely one of the best scenes in the film. Everyone was just waiting for it and then bang! Bye bye Frodo.<P>Scary stuff, very well done. Too bad she didn't catch up with Gollum aswell.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:27 AM   #30
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Shelob herself was done well, and quite scary enough. Very naturalistic, only NO real spiders have stingers in their abdomen!! <BR>Tolkien says she stung Frodo - but with her mouth-devices (whatever this may be called) "she had stung him in the neck", "her beak drabbling a spittle of venom" she is described, and: "she gathered herself for another spring, this time to crush and sting to death, no little bite of poison to still the struggling of her meat." <P>But in other points I agree totally with Doug Platypus! It should have been much darker, so that the phial would really shine out exceedingly bright and hurt Shelob's eyes. <BR> I can't see the necessity of separating Sam from Frodo. In the book he was stung AFTER he got out of the lair and was running ahead "in a fey mood".<P>I was soo disappointed by the way Frodo stumbled and lay on the ground, half enmeshed in webs and in that situation took out the phial and mumbled weakly and hastily "Aiya, Earendil ancalima!" It really was nothing like the scene in the book where Frodo, phial and Sting in hand, walks bravely towards Shelob and drives her back. "Stars and glory! But the Elves would make a song of that!" says Sam. I love that!<P>But really I shouldn't have expected anything else - movie-Frodo is weak in all the situations where book Frodo showed his courage!!
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Old 01-19-2004, 09:54 PM   #31
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I thought overall Shelob worked pretty well, but I don't like the way they did her. I wish they had stuck to the book more, it would have been so cool to see Frodo <B>and</B> Sam go into a dark tunnel and then pass her Lair and when she comes out see this huge thing with tons of eyes (like in the book). And of course have her look more like in teh book, not just an everyday ordinary huge spider.
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