Spider (2002, GBR/CDN) C-98m. ** D: David Cronenberg. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave, John Neville. Psycho drama about mental patient Fiennes, who takes board at a London home/asylum some time around WW2. Slowly we learn through flashbacks what made him the broken man he is. Intriguing premise, but plodding execution makes this a lesser Cronenberg effort. The fact that we are asked to identify with or care for the handicapped main character makes the movie difficult to access, if not even depressing. Classical score by Howard Shore makes things even worse. Written by Patrick McGrath, based on his novel.

© Ron Altman