: : : Spider

Story

Internal madness is hypnotically externalized in David Cronenberg's Spider, a disturbing portrait of schizophrenia. Adapted by Patrick McGrath from his celebrated novel, this no-frills production begins when "Spider" Cleg (Ralph Fiennes, in a daring, nearly nonverbal role) returns to his childhood neighborhood in London's dreary East End, where a traumatic event from his past percolates to the surface of his still-erratic consciousness. Released from a mental institution and left to fend for himself, he pursues elusive memories while staying in a halfway house run by a stern matron (Lynn Redgrave), unable to distinguish between past, present, and psychological fabrication. The distorting influence of Spider's mind is directly reflected in Cronenberg's cunning visual strategy, presenting a shifting "reality" that's deliberately untrustworthy, until the veracity of nearly every scene is called into question. With an impressive dual-role performance by Miranda Richardson, Spider falls prey to its own lugubrious rhythms, but like the acclaimed 1995 indie film Clean, Shaven, it's a compelling glimpse of mental illness, seen from the inside out. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Ralph FiennesSpider
Miranda RichardsonYvonne/Mrs. Cleg
Gabriel ByrneBill Cleg
Lynn RedgraveMrs. Wilkinson
John NevilleTerrence
Philip CraigJohn

  • Genre: Mystery Movies
  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Producer: Columbia/Tri-Star
  • Length: 98 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 2002
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    JapanPG-12
    AustraliaMA
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMar 23, 2004
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