Spiderhole Review

Saddled with a head-scratcher of a title and a limp front cover endorsement, Spiderhole is predestined to be a bottom-shelf item. Yet Daniel Simpson's film displays talent behind the camera almost from the on-set, smartly investing in unnerving set design that improves on a well-worn plot serving mostly to get our young adult victims into a single setting. Loosely identified artists Zoe (Amy Noble), Molly (Emma Griffiths Malin), Toby (George Maguire) and Luke (Reuben-Henry Biggs) cruise around London for a place to squat. Familiar with their rights once settled down and looking to score a nice new home, the girls and boys luck out on a sizeable and seemingly abandoned mansion. They settle in, have the requisite hook-up and find a batch of bloody clothes.

Molly rushes to leave immediately but is talked out of it and the group falls into an uneasy slumber. They wake up to find the door sealed shut and the windows soundproofed. This is only the beginning. Simpson doesn't shy away from any familiar tropes and our young charges are dispatched one by one. There is a wise choice made later on to shed some minor light on the villain who stalks them, but it's brief and doesn't improve the film's slavish devotion to screaming, crying young people making increasingly foolish decisions. Spiderhole remains watchable but never gripping, even when the requisite torture elements rear their ugly head. The leads are capable and the little time we spend getting to know them is handled naturalistically enough for us to develop some interest in their survival but when the horror stars, the decision making grows dumber and dumber still. A final twist is hit-or-miss, since Simpson hinges it on an unmemorable story element introduced very early on in the film. Spiderhole certainly features more talent than a C-grade horror film could ask for and its production design is downright impressive at times, but the plotting really does hurt the film.

DVD Bonus Features

A making-of shows the cast and crew having a good time on the small set, as well having some drinks and goofing around waiting for something to happen. Also included is the trailer.

"Spiderhole" is on sale January 31, 2012 and is not rated. Horror. Written and directed by Daniel Simpson. Starring Amy Noble, Emma Griffiths Malin, George Maguire, John Regan, Reuben Henry Biggs.

Mark Zhuravsky • Staff Writer

I'm a prolific blogger, writer and editor who loves film.


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