Movie Review: Spiderhead (2022)

I wanted to like Spiderhead, but unfortunately, this movie is an utter disappointment. Chris Hemsworth is a fantastic villain, but unfortunately, his efforts are wasted on a film with a severe identity crisis. This movie struggles as it tries to decide whether it wants to be horror, action thriller, or dark comedy. The result is something that feels like three different movies awkwardly stitched together and posted as a cheap way to generate views. There are about 30 minutes of salvageable film, but the disappointment is too overwhelming to merit a recommendation.

Spiderhead is a prison facility run by a shady pharmaceutical company. They use the facility to test highly experimental drugs on its inmates. All the inmates are here by choice, but as the side effects begin to get severe, it becomes harder to justify volunteering. The movie focuses on a protagonist with a dark past that you uncover as the tests continue. Will he continue to subject himself to the experiments, or will his questions prompt a release from the program? Or worse?

The movie starts as another prison game narrative. The movie does a great job of setting up how isolated the facility is. It also provides the audience with a taste of the type of tests involved. What sets this movie apart is the very charismatic Chris Hemsworth who uses his charisma to manipulate the prisoners into always cooperating with the testing. It is fun to see Steve (Chris Hemsworth) turn every conversation in his favor. The problem is that none of the other actors add this same level of energy and it hurts the film. When the movie shifts its focus from Hemsworth to the true protagonist, the movie loses its momentum, and I, in turn, lost my interest. The movie becomes this lazy, cartoonish The Warriors ripoff no one asks for full of ex-Machina and poorly delivered drama. I don’t like this movie because of how badly I was let down by the ending.

If you want something to throw in the background, sure. Chris Hemsworth’s performance is fantastic. There are a lot of bits in this movie where nothing happens, making it not worth your full attention. You can find this movie on Netflix, but there are a lot of other media that do this same story better elsewhere.

This part will have spoilers, do not read if you care about spoilers. This is one of those movies where I wish the villain won. It would have been such a better story if at the end of the movie, after all the effort of trying to escape, the protagonist finds he is still a part of the test. Anything would have been better than how it ends.

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