Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 27th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: UK, October 29th, 2010
Production Company: Soda Pictures
Approximate running time: 79 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Director: Daniel Simpson
Writer: Daniel Simpson
Cinematographer: Vinit Borrison
Cast: Amy Noble, Emma Griffiths Malin, George Maguire, John Regan, Reuben-Henry Biggs, Moya Farrelly
The film’s tagline “Forgive them those that trespass against us.” perfectly en-capsules what this film is about.
The plot revolves around four friends, who all are artists and homeless. Needing a place to live. They go cruising around London looking for an abandoned home. That they can squat in. When their initial place that they had previously checked out, falls through. They end finding another much nicer looking house. That almost appears to be too good to be true. Later that evening after they have settled into their new home. Two of the friends start to become uneasy about being in the house. And when they try to leave. They discover that they have been locked in.
No matter how original or inventive a story may be. If the main focus is purely on shocking the viewer. Things can quickly devolve in a by the numbers story that has been done umpteen times before. For me the best horror films are more rooted in reality. There is nothing more terrifying than watching someone in peril in a everyday mundane situation. When this film begins the four friends biggest concern. Is being arrested for what they are about to do by law enforcement. Their life gets turned upside down. When a chance encounter places them in an abandoned home. That a psychopath has been using to lure and torture his victims. Once they realize the situation that they are now in. The remainder of the film is spent with them trying to escape and in fighting amongst themselves. After all, the easiest way to trap ones prey. Is to conquer and divide.
Other key elements in making a horror film that can unsettle the viewer. Is by setting the mood via location and the look of the film. This film does a remarkable job with both. The dilapidated old house which serves as the film’s main location not only reinforces the mounting feeling of claustrophobia. It also serves as a metaphor for the decay that is engulfing the four friends.
Another element that can make or break any horror film. Is creating a menacing villain / monster. This film does a good job setting the stage for their villain. Who for the majority of the film is either lurking somewhere in the shadows or his face obscured by a surgical mask. And by the time his face is finally revealed. All of his own back-story has been revealed. Which makes his modus operandi all the more chilling. And in true horror fashion. This film ends with a bleak finale that resolves as much as it leaves open the possibility that things are not over just yet.
Spiderhole makes its theatrical debut in UK theaters on October 29th, 2010. For more information about the film and upcoming screenings go here.