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Overall Rating
3.45

Awesome: 21.43%
Worth A Look: 25%
Average35.71%
Pretty Bad: 12.5%
Total Crap: 5.36%

6 reviews, 20 user ratings


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Spider
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Caught in its own sticky web."
3 stars

Unmistakably a David Cronenberg project, his style and finesse are highly evident throughout the film even though the brunt of the material is some of his weakest.

Spider refers to the main character, split between the present-day schizophrenic Ralph Fiennes, and his child counterpart. The line between them is not so distinct as just simple flashbacks or paralleled storylines, but rather the adult Spider’s schizophrenia causes him to relive the past incidents that caused his state of being while being there “now,” too. Simplified: The adult Spider observes his past as a silent observer in his memories, often confusing where and what he is now, at the same time as confusing those currently around him with those from his past. The description undoubtedly rings of intrigue and possibilities, but perhaps without the accompanying literature (the script is written by the same novelist, Patrick McGrath) there are several layers of comprehension lacking, which results in a high level of convolution. (Or maybe not: the book can be just as convoluted in reading the identity crises that Spider goes through until some reality is able to slip in.) The revelation at the end is pretty slick and makes the best use of the visual and psychological manipulation, but much that comes before it is confounding and for too long. Long-time Cronenberg cinematographer Peter Suschitzky excels with his effective compositions, hinged most often from distant high and low corner angles, suggestive of a webbed spider’s tucked-away perspective. With Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Bradley Hall, Lynn Redgrave, and Tara Ellis.

[See it if you must.]

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6597&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/20/04 07:32:56
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/20/13 PAUL SHORTT COMPELLING, HAUNTING PORTRAIT OF MADNESS, WITH A GREAT STAR PERFORMANCE 4 stars
9/07/10 little jerry John Neville's performance is one of the most poignant ever. 5 stars
2/23/07 dmitry fantastic...Cronenberg at his best 5 stars
11/19/06 Ionicera it stays with you 4 stars
11/07/05 K. Sear A little cry, even for Cronenberg. Still entertaining though. 4 stars
8/19/05 ES Lynch and Cronenberg must have gone to the same school for making crazy movies that suck 1 stars
9/24/04 Roxy Smith excellent 5 stars
7/30/04 Josh Standlee So unscary, it would pass as a made-for-TV movie on PAX! 1 stars
6/07/04 Ryan Clark Either you get it or you don't - to truly appreciate the film, listen to the commentary. 4 stars
5/11/04 The More You Know scatterbrained insomniacs worst nightmare 3 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Typically good cronenberg from the canadian Lynch. 4 stars
10/03/03 Mickey With A C Art or crap? CRAP 1 stars
8/22/03 Bernie Chabel Not easy to watch but oh so rewarding 5 stars
8/14/03 Jeannie Karlsen Loved Ralph Fiennes performance (as always), love Cronenberg films (as always) 5 stars
5/22/03 Elendil Very atmospheric,. Pity about the SPOILERS provided by E. Childress. Review ~= plot outline 4 stars
4/07/03 Byrneoholic I like the movie 4 stars
3/26/03 rue the whirl it's pretty crappy i guess 4 stars
3/11/03 thejames its ok i guess. 2 stars
3/06/03 Spy It isn't very good... 3 stars
1/14/03 marzio arigoni@rtsi.ch great director, great actors Fiennes Richardson and Byrne, great film 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-Feb-2003 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  08-May-2003




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