It creeps. It crawls. No, we're not talking about eight-legged freaks (there aren't any here) but rather the pacing of Spider's opening scenes. But stick with the slow spin of the narrative; the intricate web will eventually snare you like an unsuspecting moth. Released from a mental institution, Ralph Fiennes (nicknamed "Spider" as a boy) visits the London neighborhood where he grew up and soon begins reliving tragic events of his past: When Spider was itsy-bitsy, some bad stuff happened to his doting mum, Miranda Richardson.
And now it's here to haunt him. Fiennes is in fine form, and Richardson pulls off a real acting coup. But the show belongs to director David Cronenberg, who skillfully weaves Spider's unraveling self with all the psychosexual threads you'd expect from the guy who gave us The Dead Zone and Dead Ringers. This, too, is dead-on great.