4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
One of Cronenberg's Best,
This review is from: Spider [DVD] (DVD)
Spider was the first film by Cronenberg that I truly loved and for me, heralded the start of a more mature style of film making that he has thankfully carried forward into his later films, "A History Of Violence" and "Eastern Promises".
The film works extremely well as a study of a damaged mind dislocated from the present by a preoccupation with the traumas of the past. The film exists in this amber half life where memory and fantasy collide and we're never quite sure what's real and what is the product of Spider's damaged mind.
If you like meticulously observed mood films that require patience then this will be a film for you. There aren't many great films like this about mental illness that don't resort to sentimentality, usually we're treated to incredibly worthy films or some attempt at an Oscar nomination. Spider just tries to paint the portrait of a troubled mind without making any moral judgements or lifting the lead character out of the murky hell he's resigned himself to. A troubling film but rewarding to watch. Ralph Fiennes is perfectly cast in the lead. It would've been an inferior film without his performance.