#FantasticFest2022 'Holy Spider' - movie review
Deep in the trenches of investigative journalism is where I always wanted to be. That's until I see films like the daunting new thriller from Ali Abbasi HOLY SPIDER. At times this film was one of the more difficult to watch because of the realism it presented. While it's loosely based off of many investigative reports, Ali drags you into the underbelly world of prostitution in a muslim country. HOLY SPIDER is jaw dropping with it's intensity and graphic detail of a city celebrating an anti hero for a devious act.
In the film we find the alluring Zahra Amir Ebrahimi. This Iranian actress is breathtaking as her portrayal of a reporter looking into deaths from her home city. It's not just any place , it is a holy land where these murders have a "Jack the Ripper' styled quality. Opposite of Zahra there is Mehdi Bajestani who is equal to the task of delivering an outstanding performance. His role as the killer turned local icon revs up the atmosphere to make HOLY SPIDER more than just a film, it's a political microcosm.
The story alone makes you question reality as you see the events unfold. Part one deals with fraility and intrigue of the relationships between stalker and victims. The latter half rounds out to be come a court case for the ages. We watch a city split down the middle on what is right or wrong for the holy land they inhabit. Is our hero cleansing the streets or is he just a homicidal maniac? That dynamic alone makes HOLY SPIDER one of the must see films in 2022. Add that with the superb cast and enriching storyline and it's no wonder HOLY SPIDER is sweeping awards in every festival.
If you can handle to graphic nature of the film HOLY SPIDER provides the full package. The true horror is the reality surrounding this tale. I have never seen a take on prostitution from an Islamic country but I would assume this would be close. HOLY SPIDER puts you into a catatonic state like no other. It really was a fantastic film to see!
DIRECTED BY: Ali Abbasi
WRITTEN BY: Ali Abbasi, Afshin Kamran Bahrami
CAST: Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Mehdi Bajestani
Comes Out Oct 28 From Utopia