Saturday, October 6, 2012
I didn't know what to expect from this movie, mainly because both the title and the description make it sound like something it's really not (no, it's not about a giant spider who eats people). This must be a sticking point with a lot of the people who reviewed this movie, because they wrote a bunch of snotty reviews giving away all the plot twists and claiming that the title is stupid. I don't agree that the title isn't fitting, though the movie doesn't reveal why it's called "spiderhole" until basically the last shot of the film, and it probably helps to know that a "spiderhole" is a spider's lair where it drags off its prey to feed by drinking their blood, as spiders are wont to do. No, the movie isn't a vampire movie, either, though I just made it sound like one. See? This is how you make your movie sound more intriguing by giving it a vague enough description to make people curious enough to give it a watch. The problem with that is that the title and vague description lead people to expect one kind of movie, and then when they get something totally different, they get pissy, and I don't totally blame them for that.
The description just says that a group of college art students in London set off to find an abandoned building and take up residence there, claiming squatter's rights, creating art, and "living off the land" (I'm pretty sure it's not "living off the land" unless you're growing your own food and such, but whatever, latter-day Thoreau wannabes) and that they soon find that the house where they've staked their claim is home to a "sinister presence." Basically, that is the movie hedging its bets and trying to draw in fans of many different kinds of sub-genres by not telling anyone what the movie is really about, though the DVD case gives every damn thing away by showing pictures of vital scenes that let you know what the "sinister presence" really is. Way to go, marketing team.
It probably sounds like I didn't like this movie, but I actually did enjoy it. I even like the title, because I see where they were going with it in that last shot of the movie, but I can also see why it made people expect something totally different than what this movie delivers. One reviewer even complained that there are no spiders in the movie, but he must have watched a different movie than I did, because I saw lots of shots of spiders, crawling around and spinning their webs and catching prey (thanks for that heavy-handed imagery, but it manages to be creepy because spiders freak me out). I also liked the back story, delivered in little bits and pieces of information throughout the film, until we get a clearer picture of what's going on here. I even liked the characters. Yes, they're a bunch of twits, but so was I at 22, and I feel bad for them when their idea of a modern-day utopia goes so horribly wrong for them. The movie isn't totally original, since it contains lots of things I've seen before, but it's likable enough, the imagery is creepy, I cared about the characters, and the filmmakers go for the jugular with some mean-spirited and nasty twists, so I enjoyed myself (because I'm demented like that). For my money, this movie is worth a watch. Don't go in expecting anything, and you might enjoy it, too.