"She just crawled away without looking back once... She's all dried up and empty."
- Mrs. Cleg (Miranda Richardson)
Schizophrenic Dennis Cleg aka Spider is released to an halfway house for mentally disturbed. Jigsaw like, he attempts to piece together a repressed childhood trauma.
David Cronenberg's most sombre and downbeat movie. Spider is another Freudian tangled web, that touches heavily on a man dealing with a dark Oedipus complex. Visually it bares an uncanny resemblance to a Dennis Potter piece, though admittedly without the surreal musical interludes. Speaking of music Howard Shore turns in a dark grating score, that echoes our characters scrambled perspective wonderfully.
Ralph Fiennes is understated as disturbed mother fixated Spider, rarely speaking and then mostly just mumbles. Bradley Hall is solid playing the boyhood Dennis. Gabriel Byrne captures the strong fatherly role very well, shame Byrne didn't get more of these darker sided roles. Best of all though is Miranda Richardson in her amazing multiple role, she actually plays 3 roles and not just the 2 listed, shes the mother Mrs Cleg, his fathers fancy piece Yvonne and briefly as landlady Mrs Wilkinson.
This was only my 2nd viewing, like many DC fans I caught it on release and was bored rigid. I admit at the time I was pissed Cronenberg's Naked Blood styled movie Painkiller got scrapped, and he made this. On reevaluation its much better than I remember, though still a far from him at his best. I even noticed a few little things I never picked up like it being a sort of Greek tragedy. I was even curious if there could have been a numerology system to the film. because theres so many numbers take center stage; train number 5002; door numbers 71, 21, 9, 98, car licence plate had 35 (I actually gave up listing there was so many).
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
Richardson's performance. The Rorschach Test titles made of wall mold, that I read are due to a section of the book that didn't make it in the film, Mr's Cleg and Spider imagine images in wallpaper. The old fashioned bogey ftw.
Originally taken from Letterboxd