Ralph Fiennes plays ‘Spider’, a mentally ill man. When he moves into a half way house, Spider sinks into the world of his illness, and begins replaying key events in his childhood.
Directed by David Cronenberg, Spider is profoundly disturbing in the very dark and melancholy feeling it creates. As we delve deeper into Spider’s mind and his memory, reality and fiction become inseparable, and you confuse truth with the rambling brain of a very sad, mentally ill man.
The performances in the film are excellent. Ralph Fiennes plays this hard to reach character in a way that sucks you into the dark world he inhabits.
Spider is a hard to like character at first, so far removed from what most viewers know, but he becomes sympathetic and fascinating to watch. Miranda Richardson also delivers a very strong performance in her duel role of Yvonne and Mrs Clegg.
The plot of this film is not the most important part, and therefore will defiantly not be to everybody’s taste. More important is the feeling that the film creates, then nurtures, and the character of Spider. Watch this alone with all the lights off to achieve the maximum effect.
Although in some ways very different from some of Cronenberg’s more action packed films as it is much slower and focuses on the mood it conjures rather than elaborate pieces of make-up, Spider still has all the elements of the very best of Cronenberg’s classic horrors. This dark, psychological horror is deeply unsettling.