Review of “Spiderwebhouse” by Jason Minton
Spiderwebhouse – 2017
Production by: Tellux Film, Südwestrundfunk (SWR)
Distribution by: Uncork’d Entertainment
Sabine (Sylvie Testud) is a loving mother who struggles with depression. Since her husband left her she sometimes escapes for a day, locking herself in her room alone and leaving her three children to take care of each other. The spider webs are coming... Her daylong escapes turn into a weekend getaway that she won’t be returning from. At only twelve years of age, Jonas (Ben Litwinschuh) just became the head of the family. The spider webs are coming… Left to care for his two younger siblings Nick (Lutz Simon Eilet) and Miechen (Helena Pieske), Jonas must learn to raise his siblings in a Spiderwebhouse made for adults. The spider webs are growing…
This beautifully shot black and white, German import, tells a simple but complex tale of a literal coming of age story. Left to raise his younger siblings, Jonas must learn to be an adult himself. He keeps the appearance that all is well with his family while the spiderwebs are growing inside. When money runs out, Jonas turns to other ways of survival. He meets streetwise teenager Felix (Ludwig Trepte) who isn’t quite right in the head by his own omission. Felix helps guide Jonas through a world of adults as the spider webs keep growing…
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a weakness for coming of age stories. Spiderwebhouse is not the traditional horror film I review but if you can place your childhood self in Jonas’ shoes, it’s terrifying. The struggle for the three siblings to survive on their own reminds me of the struggles the children went through in movies like Flowers in the Attic and A Home of Our Own. Though it’s doesn’t completely explore the mindset of Jonas and his siblings, it does show their tribulations of trying to survive on their on which is powerful in itself. As their house remains unattended by an adult, they live inside, underneath the ever increasing mass of spider webs growing above.
4 out of 5 Headless Critics