Movie Review – Spider (2002)

Spider is a film giving a window into the fractured, fragile mind of someone who suffers from a mental illness. It’s directed by David Cronenberg and stars Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson and Gabriel Byrne. The film is told from the perspective of Spider (Fiennes) as we shift between the present day and his recollections of the past. 

While it provides a good insight into the troubled mind of Spider, the film is actually boring. You know how some films last 3 or 4 hours but keep you completely engrossed in the story so you don’t even realize that a great deal of time has passed by? This one is only 90 minutes but it feels like an eternity. I’m not against slower-paced films but in this one there’s no hook to suggest why I should be interested or invested in Spider, and the film is just utterly dull. 

The film shifts between the past and present but there doesn’t seem to be a thematic connection between them. In the past we’re shown how his family broke apart, and the main strength of the film is Miranda Richardson’s performance where she plays a dual role, and the two characters are so different that at one point I was wondering if it was actually her. 

There is a twist at the end, which I won’t spoil here, but due to the sheer tedium of the film it doesn’t have any impact and is a complete non-event, and the only reaction the end of the film provoked was relief that it was finally over. I was surprised to see that it has quite a high rating on IMDB, but I’d avoid this one.

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