Featuring: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett and Tess Haubrich
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Spiderhead’ tells the story of the necessary once-in-a-lifetime genius for this kind of film, with the equally as expected tropical lair to match. Inside, the trials of a handful of volunteers are unfolded, as they take part in a strangely enigmatic research process that brings laughter, fear and tension in equal measure.
Miles Teller and Chris Hemworth lead the film, and despite sharing a great amount of screen time, never seem to build any form of powerful relationship that the audience is able to connect with. Their individual talents feel a little wasted on the film, with the story allowing them little more to work with than the kind of archetypal prisoner/prisonee tropes this type of narrative so often delivers. Perhaps if the writing was stronger during their shared moments, the two actors could have created some great moments of tension and intrigue.
In terms of set design, the layout of ‘Spiderhead’ seems to draw a lot of ideas from the works of early Black Mirror episodes being released ten years prior. A cold and minimalist tone rests over the design of the architecture and the clothing, and resonates further into the film itself. It never seems to find its footing any deeper than a simple overarching story, or the barebones and forgettable locations in which our action plays out.
Perhaps by moving away from attempted one-liners, vague psychological observations, or desperate requirements to show the likely already created spotify soundtrack, ‘Spiderhead’ could have resulted in a decent little thriller inspired by the likes of ‘Lord of the Flies’ or ‘The Stanford Experiment’, but unfortunately it feels a little more like another failed Netflix experiment than any major breakthrough.