12 September 2004 | dr_fritz_von_norstrom
Uniquely haunting and intricate
I saw Spider Forest at the Toronto International Film Festival last night. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure of what to expect from it - was it a horror film? Or was it a detective story, a thriller, or something altogether different? The answer, I think, is that it is all of those things.
The film begins with a series of mysterious and shocking events in a cabin in the forest, and much like a spider's web, returns to this place quite often in an attempt to unravel its secrets.
Spider Forest manages to avoid most of the modern horror/suspense/thriller conventions, including scary pale children and does not rely on special effects to set the mood. Instead, the psychological predicament of the main character creates an atmosphere of blurred confusion and distrust of one's own memory.
The story is entirely unique and never quite goes in the direction the audience is expecting.
I give a confident recommendation to see this film.