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Netflix’s ‘Spiderhead’ Lacks the Charm of the Story It’s Based On

According to Netflix’s confusing proprietary data in its first week of release spider head was viewed a total of 35 million hours. In theory, every sci-fi fan should be excited by the existence of a lavishly crafted non-franchise sci-fi success building on the work of a uniquely American madman. but spider head is mostly bad, and that sucks. Because even beyond the potential of Saunders’ story, there’s plenty to do here.

In the America of 2022, depending on your socioeconomic status, it’s totally doable to read investigative journalism about a bizarre prison experiment and tsk-tsk, or experience it horrifically yourself. A very cursory search turns up this summer 2021 article in Arkansas about four men being treated for Covid-19: “They soon began to suffer from a variety of side effects, including blurred vision, diarrhea, bloody stools and stomach cramps . It was only later that they discovered that they had been prescribed, without their consent, significantly high doses of ivermectin, an antiparasitic commonly used in livestock.”

In Kosinksi’s hands, the material is treated with reactive bombast. If you’re being experimented on, you’re going to end up hitting someone. In Saunders’ hands, the frank answer is more of a… endless silent scream of horror? I can’t help but wonder how a different, less physically prepared group of actors would have handled Saunders’ stuff. Actors who can easily appear intimidated and/or destroyed by the world. Jesse Eisenberg? Michael Shannon? Jessie Buckley?

In comparison spider head Mashable wrote of the film of his source material: “Saunders’ short story had the potential to be a low-key, introspective sci-fi chamber piece in the vein of Ex MachinaIt’s a good comparison, one that reminds me particularly of the latter film’s beloved dance scene.

Ex MachinaThe director of , Alex Garland, said the scene came out of an instinct to put something in his film “that just lifts the tone and wakes people up.” You can laugh about it; you should laugh about it. Inside Ex Machina‘s constant creeping fear, there’s – this. Whatever that is.

It also makes me think of Charlie Kaufman’s sci-fi movies or Bong Joon-ho’s happily over-the-top movies snowpierceror the recent parable on work-life balance severance pay: All are often or mainly ridiculous. in the black mirrorIn the first episode of a head of state is blackmailed into having sex with a pig on TV. That’s an objectively stupid premise; It’s my favorite episode of the series. When sci-fi isn’t obsessed with grand Manichean conflicts, it can get a little silly and very good.

spider headThe ultimate sin of is its ending, which is a pat action set piece through which each main character ultimately secures their “proper” destiny. However, it should be noted that Saunders’ short story makes a similar mistake by offering the protagonist a (much more complicated) way out of the horror. When sci-fi at its best reflects not how life looks now, but how it is feels then the honest step is to let that silent scream roll on forever.


More great WIRED stories

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/netflixs-spiderhead-lacks-the-charm-of-the-story-its-based-on Netflix’s ‘Spiderhead’ Lacks the Charm of the Story It’s Based On

Russell Falcon

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