Spiderhole (2011)

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Movies

I’ve always loved British cinema, so when I heard of the suspense/horror/gorefest that was to be Spiderhole, I immediately had to find it and watch it.

The story is simple enough: four London art students decide to house up in an abandoned house to save money with the intention to live cost-free in a meaningful, creative and partying student lifestyle environment. However, they find themselves trapped inside a large house and their unlawful entry may come at a price – possibly their lives.

Daniel Simpson’s director / writer feature film debut is an exciting offering of a well-crafted film with an effective and expensive looking production design. The lighting is excellent, creating a dark and ominous atmosphere in the confinement of the empty building. He throws in enough camera angles, movement and cuts though-out to prevent events ever becoming static.

Spiderhole begins customary enough with a carefree student Molly having a check-up at the doctors on a sunny London’s day, but once she meets her three friends to take on the “homeless person” adventure of free spirited living things take a turn for the worse and it becomes a claustrophobic nightmare.

Simpson sets-up the perfect intro for a haunted house thriller, shadowy corridors, locked doors, complete with bangs and bumps. You almost feel you’re in for a rework of 1962s The Haunting. Nevertheless, as the supernatural element is dispensed with, the ‘torture porn’ element begins with plenty of blood, mind-games and grime to get Saw-esque fans jumping in their seats. What stood out for me was how well executed – with some excellent practical and realistic looking effects and blood – the film became.

Although the characters are thrust into the horror very quickly the British slang dialogue is naturalistic enough to keep the tension on track. George Maguire’s performance as the edgy sculpture lover is notable and the Molly character is written logically and with more wit than most heroines of this genre and is wonderfully played by Emma Griffiths Malin. Both Amy Noble and Reuben-Henry Biggs are more than adequate in the supporting roles and a Nutwork Performance Award goes to John Regan’s subtle role as The Captor.

Jason Cooper & Oliver Krauss composed the musical score and the sound design is pounding and nauseating – which fittingly adds to the on screen action, touching nerves and senses, and adding to the already pants-soiling atmosphere.

Some plot and style elements are reminiscent of Creep, The Collector, Severance, Catacombs, Hostel and Saw 2 to name a few, however, there’s enough originality, mystery, twists and a surprise ending to satisfy the casual horror viewer. Overall, if you enjoy blood, torture and captivity Spiderhole is made for you. But this comes with a bit of a warning – parts of this feature are downright disgusting, and could easily promote nauseau. That said, grab an extra bucket if needed and enjoy a well-made picture of torture and pain.

7/10.

IMDB: Here

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