Spiderhole is an effective if unoriginal Horror offering from the UK that’s sure to appeal to fans of the Hostel franchise. Blending aspects of the “Torture-Porn” and “Home Invasion” subgenres, director Daniel Simpson delivers an intensely creepy and disquieting experience.
Read my review after the jump.
Official Synopsis: Molly, together with her three art student friends, embark upon a mission to find an empty house in London, with the view to the living as squatters, free from rent, and free to party. Having found the ideal squat, they break in and go about the merry business of dressing the stark interior to reflect their artistic selves. Darkness pervades their new dwelling place, a darkness through which they discover the full implications of their intrepid choice. A nightmare unfolds that traps the viewer and protagonists alike in a terrifying and unforgiving new reality. Who or what is orchestrating their bloody demise and why? The house appeared to be empty and yet a malevolent force is clearly at work.
The squat aspect of this film just barely translates to an American audience, as the laws are quite different in England. Apparently, all you need to do across the Pond to live rent-free is break into an unused building, change the locks, and post a letter of intension on the front door. No wonder these rich, white, privileged art-students think it’s a good deal. No money wasted on rent means more money for getting wasted! Still, since squatting in America is primarily done by the homeless and addicted, it feels like these kids are taking advantage of a system never intended for their exploitation. I hope the point is intentional; when we consider the main characters to be spoiled and greedy, it’s easier to take pleasure in their ordeal.
It’s not like there weren’t warnings to heed, namely a bureau full of bloody clothes! And Horror aficionados know immediately that when Toby promises that “everything will be okay” and that “things will look up in the light of day” he has actually doomed them all. Didn’t these kids learn anything from Scream?
The Captor, as he is referred to in the credits, is a variation of your stereotypical Mad Scientist, with echoes of Victor Frankenstein and Josef Heiter. He’s chilling in a surgical mask and a hazmat suit, but the monster behind the disguise is slightly anticlimactic. Not only is he old (too old and frail, in my opinion, to be a successful opponent to 4 20-somethings) he just doesn’t seem crazy enough. His motivations are so ordinary that everything is revealed in a couple quick shots of newspaper clippings and a mortician’s ID badge. In the end, the Captor is more sad than scary.
Spiderhold works best when setting us on edge. Characters struggle for escape only to be recaptured at the last moment. When Molly fumbles to find keys for a myriad of door locks, you practically want to scream at her to “Hurry the fuck up!” The mood and intensity are maintained by awesome sets, gloomy and foreboding with Gothic elements throughout. I noticed a couple plot holes (like what exactly happened to Zoe), but an unforeseen twist at the end (a cool twist at that) makes me inclined to focus on the positive.
Spiderhole is a solid 3-Star Horror movie that will mostly appeal to younger aficionados and adults who like seeing spoiled rich kids get what they deserve. Get some jobs you slackers!
3 out of 5 Skull Heads.
|Directed by||Daniel Simpson|
|Produced by||Patrick O’Neill|
|Written by||Daniel Simpson|
Emma Griffiths Malin,
|Music by||Jason Cooper,
|Editing by||Johnny Megalos,
|Running time||82 minutes|