Auteur David Cronenberg spins a potent Freudian nightmare by way of Kafka in his chilling character study, SPIDER.
Upon release from an asylum, Dennis Cleg (Fiennes) finds himself in an East London halfway home trying to piece together the puzzle that is his past, present, and future. Unsupervised and unprepared for social reintegration, Cleg—affectionately nicknamed Spider by his mother—strings together the delusional threads that comprise his reality into an intricate, protective web around himself.
Revisiting derelict childhood haunts, Spider begins to relive a series of traumatic episodes involving his parents and the woman that came between them. Skulking around his unconscious mind, Spider discovers clues that threaten to simultaneously unravel his reality and entangle him in a new web of madness.
Cronenberg’s first feature of the new millennium marks a departure in form, but not content, as the horrors of residing in a physical body are explored to fearsome effect sans the special effects that hallmark his previous works.
In Spider’s desolate and paranoid world, gore is superseded by atmospheric dread, psychosexual angst, and the claustrophobic terror of a mind infected.
Quiet horrors lie in SPIDER’s minimalism and small intricacies, where inner worlds and outer worlds are indistinguishable. Rorschachian textures of urban decay echo the chicken scratched ciphers in Spider’s diary, simultaneously demanding and dissuading decoding.
Haunting and haunted, vulnerable yet dangerous, Fiennes pares himself down to threadbare humanity on the verge of disintegration in a career defining performance that treats the subject matter with the reverence it deserves.
Don’t miss the chance to revisit one of the maestro’s most criminally underrated masterpieces.
Director: David Cronenberg