Spiderhole Movie Review
Written by Daniel Benson
DVD released by Soda Pictures
Written and Directed by Daniel Simpson
2010, 82 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
Amy Noble as Zoe
Emma Griffiths Malin as Molly
George Maguire as Toby
Reuben-Henry Biggs as Luke
John Regan as The Captor
Four art students trawl the streets of West London looking for a house they can call their own. Not in some romantic home-making way, but in a bolt-cutting, crowbar-wielding way, by entering an abandoned property and claiming squatter’s rights; once they’re in a settled, the law protects them and they can’t be moved on. Unfortunately for them, they picked the wrong house to take up residence in, as someone, or something is already there and it doesn’t take kindly to being invaded.
Watching the trailer and reading the synopsis for Daniel Simpson’s Spiderhole, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is going to be a tense and exciting possessed-house expedition. But you’d be wrong. There’s a nutter in the basement with a selection of surgical tools and a grudge against anyone under 25. Something about his Dad getting mugged, but by the time that’s revealed it’s all but over and you’ll be sat there thinking you’ve seen it all before. And you have.
Once the foursome wakes up after its first night, they find all the doors and windows locked from the inside, so Johnny Nutjob has free reign to pick them off one at a time and take his selection of shiny implements to them. Think Hostel, think Saw, and you’ll be pretty much on the right track.
It’s a disappointing start for this young director. The story is weak and not particularly original, but he shows considerable skill behind the camera and the cast is solid across the board. The cinematography is extremely effective, and the old house provides the perfect setting for the film. It’s grimy, creepy and you can’t imagine wanting to live there, even for free, let alone die there.
I hope Simpson can move on from this and make something genuinely entertaining for horror fans. With better writing and a stronger story I’m sure he can pull it off, but in the meantime he’s going to need thick skin to bear the, mostly negative, press that Spiderhole is currently getting.
Video, Audio and Special features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.