David Cronenberg shuns the splatter and gore of his cult horror movies (Scanners, Videodrome) for psychological terror in Spider, a powerful and moving tale of mental illness adapted from Patrick McGrath's novel of the same name.
It's a difficult and challenging film, taking place largely inside the warped mind of a broken man, whose memory is tainted by anguish and resentment.
Dennis Cleg (Ralph Fiennes), aka Spider, is a schizophrenic released into the community, to take up lodgings at a halfway house in his old neighbourhood run by the imperious Mrs Wilkinson (Lynn Redgrave). The other residents live in fear from her tirades and drift into mental decay, and Dennis reluctantly follows suit, striking up a friendship of sorts with the fatherly Terrence (John Neville).
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