Spider (film)

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German title Spider
Original title Spider
Country of production Canada , UK
original language English
Publishing year 2002
length 98 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director David Cronenberg
script Patrick McGrath
production Catherine Bailey ,
David Cronenberg,
Samuel Hadida
music Howard Shore
camera Peter Suschitzky
cut Ronald Sanders

Spider is a Canadian - British film drama of David Cronenberg in the year 2002 based on the novel by Patrick McGrath .


England in the 1970s: Dennis “Spider” Cleg, suffering from schizophrenia , is released from a closed psychiatric institution and quartered in a run-down dormitory in east London . Spider suffers from anxiety and can only make himself understood to others to a very limited extent. He is particularly afraid of the smell of town gas - a large gasometer on the other side of the street, right in front of his room window, is a permanent burden for him. The home is near the place where Spider spent his childhood in the 1950s Has. He remembers the events that led to his admission to the clinic. It gradually becomes clear that the memories shown only partially correspond to reality: The adult spider appears repeatedly as a spectator in these scenes, even in those in which he was not present as a child, such as when his parents visited the pub .

Spider, a sensitive and soft boy, is very attached to his mother. His quick-tempered and frustrated father, a simple plumber, cheats on his wife with the prostitute Yvonne. The latter appears to Spider as a vulgar, repulsive, dissolute person. When the mother catches her father committing adultery, he kills her with a spade. He buries the body in a bed in the family's allotment garden. Then Yvonne takes on the role of mother in the house, but Spider refuses to accept her as the new mother. During an argument in the allotment garden, he accuses his father of murdering his mother. The father slaps him and asks whether he really thinks he killed his mother. Spider denies this, but quietly apologizes as he leaves in the direction of the flower bed where he thinks his mother is buried.

The household scene seems increasingly strange; so Yvonne serves up raw, unprocessed fish for dinner. The more Spider gets into the threat posed by Yvonne again, the more he feels threatened in the present. Finally he thinks he recognizes Yvonne in Mrs. Wilkinson, the rude dorm manager. He breaks into Mrs. Wilkinson's room at night to kill her in her sleep. He remembers the last act of what happened in his childhood: after his father and Yvonne came home drunk one night and Yvonne fell asleep in the armchair, he opens the gas tap. While his father can save himself and his son, the sleeping woman is killed. The body is carried out of the house by the father and turns out to be that of Spider's mother. The presence of Yvonne in the house and the father's murder of the mother existed only in Spider's mind. However, his fatal "revenge" was real - he killed his mother and is being admitted to the mental hospital.

Back in the present, Mrs. Wilkinson wakes up before Spider can carry out his murder plan. The adult spider is again admitted to the clinic.


McGrath's novel is based on the 1950s, moves Spider's memories to the 1930s and ends with Spider's suicide at Mrs. Wilkinson's home.

Spider premiered in May 2002 at the Cannes International Film Festival . After numerous other festival performances, it opened in Canadian cinemas on December 13, 2002 and in British cinemas on January 3, 2003. In Germany it started on June 10, 2004.


“A dark, subtle horror film on the subject of memory / remembrance, which pushes the boundaries of the genre and is committed to the world of ideas of existentialism . The dense staging and the fascinating main actor imagine a world without pity, in which the individual is exposed to decay with no hope of freedom. "

Awards (selection)

The film received a total of 13 international film awards and was nominated for 24 prizes, including David Cronenberg in four categories for the Palme d'Or in Cannes.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Spider . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , May 2004 (PDF; test number: 98 188 K).
  2. ^ Spider in the Internet Movie Database .
  3. a b Spider in the Lexicon of International FilmsTemplate: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used .
  4. Allocine , accessed on May 19, 2016th