David Cronenberg (2002)

15 Certificate


Our Score
An intense and complex exploration of mental illness, sociopathic existentialism and Freudian symbolism, director David Cronenberg's working-class variation of Dead Ringers combines pain, sadness and the shock of the new with a frighteningly innovative dexterity. Based on Patrick McGrath's unsettling 1990 novel, it uses an inner monologue device to depict the destitute Spider (Ralph Fiennes in his finest performance) watching his younger self go through the harrowing motions of misunderstanding and misrepresenting his mother's "murder". Spinning a melancholy web of sexually confused, obsessive compulsion in an East End London cunningly styled as an empty vacuum, Cronenberg's unravelling of one man's delusional mind is a deliberate slow-burner that's both intellectually demanding and courageous. The film's utterly original cerebral and cinematic trickiness may not be to everyone's taste, but the Canadian Maestro of Menace once again confounds expectations with a sparse, nihilistic work of true brilliance.


A schizophrenic released after a lengthy stay in a psychiatric hospital struggles to adapt to the routine of living in a halfway house. He finds himself drawn back to his childhood haunts in the East End, where he pieces together the memories that recreate the trauma that led to his mental breakdown - causing his fragile grip on reality to slip again. David Cronenberg's psychological thriller, with Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave and Bradley Hall.

Cast & Crew

Spider Ralph Fiennes
Yvonne / Mrs Cleg Miranda Richardson
Bill Cleg Gabriel Byrne
Mrs Wilkinson Lynn Redgrave
Terrence John Neville
Young Spider Bradley Hall
Freddy Gary Reineke
John Philip Craig
Bob Cliff Saunders
Nora Tara Ellis
Director David Cronenberg
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Helkon SKGuidance: Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes and nudity. Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 3 Jan 2003