Film, Fantasy

Time Out says

Working from Patrick McGrath's adaptation of his own novel, Cronenberg creates his most meticulously controlled and, perhaps, his finest film to date. Fiennes is extraordinarily persuasive as the closed-off Spider, released into the community - or at least a dismal halfway-house in London's East End - after years in a mental hospital. Revisiting his childhood haunts, he begins to disinter and relive his experiences as a child, particularly his painfully strong feelings towards his mother (Richardson) and plumber father (Byrne). It's primarily the precision - of performance, pacing, writing, camerawork and especially design - that make this Freudian drama so involving, though Cronenberg's ability to establish and sustain a relentlessly grim mood while simultaneously accumulating a wealth of telling details also deserves mention. Byrne gives one of his best performances yet, while Richardson's richly nuanced work in several 'roles' is hugely impressive.


Release details

98 mins

Cast and crew

David Cronenberg
Patrick McGrath
Lynn Redgrave
John Neville
Gabriel Byrne
Bradley Hall
Ralph Fiennes
Miranda Richardson
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