Review of 'Spiderhead'

spiderhead.jpg On a remote island the modern “Spiderhead” drug experimentation facility offers convicts relative freedom and a reduction in their sentence for participating. The facility is run by the likeable but slightly mysterious Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth) along with his assistant Mark (Mark Paguio). Each inmate has a “MobiPak” attached to their side which can dispense various quantities of different drugs, kept topped up by Mark. The trial exposes the innermost traumas of the inmate with Jeff (Miles Teller) still troubled over the car accident that killed his friend while drunk driving. Jeff is given several does of N-40, a “love drug”, which cause him to have sex with two of his fellow inmates but when told to chose which one of the two to administer a drug that causes intense fear and psychological pain, Darkenfloxx, he declines but Steve continues to press him. Eventually Jeff agrees to a short period of time for the dosage and the younger of the two inmates, Heather (Tess Haubrich), who while under the influence of the drug damages her MobiPak and commits suicide. As Steve races to his now dead patient he drops his keys allowing Jeff to open a drawer the reveals the real purpose of the facility…

Spiderhead is a rather slow moving though intriguing film that keeps you guessing up until the final minutes though early on you pretty much figure out that escape is on the cards. Hemsworth is his normal charming self which makes it all the more chilling as his true motives are revealed and things go very, very bad while our straight faced hero played by Miles Teller, though suffering from a huge psychological trauma, mostly reacts to what is going on around him with little emotion.

The clean look of the film adds a great deal to the discomfort that permeates the story. It is little surprise that the cool, clinical facility holds some nasty secrets and eventually is painted by the blood of it's inhabitants. Certainly don't expect everyone to live happily ever after here. What is nice is that we are asked to figure things out ourselves without being spoon-fed too much exposition about what is going on with most plots points revealed silently with delicate cinematic reveals that are perfectly choreographed by the director Kosinski. despite it's relatively short length this is a quiet, slow-paced film whose horrors inexorably sneak up on us.

Creepy, frequently violent, psychological drama.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-07-24

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Studio: Conde Nast Entertainment

Year: 2022

Length: 106 minutes

Genre: Melodrama

Other reviewed films by Joseph Kosinski: