Deadly Creatures - first look

How’s this for an opener? A gas station manager, incensed by seeing his beloved business go up in flames, pins the crime on a scorpion and a tarantula. Rewind time 24 hours to follow said beasties as we work toward and discover the reasons behind this unlikely conclusion.

It’s a time-hopping structure cribbed from Tarantino in a world nabbed from David Attenborough - an odd pairing. It’s also quite brilliant. You see, Rainbow’s last Wii project may have been Cars: Mater-National, but Deadly Creatures couldn’t be further from Pixar cute. These aren’t the wisecracking arachnids from A Bug’s Life; they’re less likely to drop a funny than send you to the morgue with a snick to your toe. They’re not the greatest narrators, but this isn’t really their story; by stepping into their (many) shoes, we become a fly on the wall for the real story playing out in the human world around them.

On first impressions, this just seems to be a double-hander of ‘insect fight club’ and ‘way of the insect ninja’. The scorpion is a poisonous pugilist, grinding through predators with pincer jabs and tail stings, while the tarantula is a stealth machine, lowering himself from the ceiling to pick away at the enemy ranks one by one. A quick glance reveals two of nature’s nastiest creatures going about their business; you need to look harder for the grand narrative.