Spider (2002 15)

Screening of David Cronenberg's film at
Ealing Town Hall
New Broadway, Ealing   W5 5RF
7.30pm on Friday 10th

Shown in partnership with the Classic Cinema Club Ealing

 

Click here for our Box Office:  tickets available at £7

 

Dennis "Spider" Cleg (Ralph Fiennes), a schizophrenic, is released after decades in a sanitarium and moves into Mrs. Wilkinson's (Lynn Redgrave) halfway house and befriends a fellow resident, Terrence (John Neville), before retreating into personal writing and the darkness of his own haunted mind. 

Spider struggles to decipher murky memories of a childhood trauma involving his abusive father (Gabriel Byrne), his murdered mother (Miranda Richardson), and a prostitute who may have replaced her. He roams the nearby derelict urban area and the local canal and starts to relive or visualize a period of his childhood in 1950s London with his mother and his father.

A shift takes place in the child's psyche when he witnesses his mother groping with his father in the garden and, subsequently, when he sees his mother in a silky night gown she wore for his father. The son, as a grown man, seems to recreate in his memory the buildup to his father's murder of his mother with the passive support of a prostitute he is involved with, who then moves into the house and is presented as his mother. The young son then kills the mistress by gassing her in the kitchen, although the final shot appears to show his true mother lying dead so we are left to wonder whether she really was his mother and the prostitute was just a fantasy. After that memory he sneaks late one night to the landlady's room and appears ready to kill her, whom he sees alternatively as the mistress, his mother and the landlady, but backs away after she says, "What have you done Mr. Cleg?"

He is taken back to the asylum.