holy spider is compelling from start to finish. This thriller, inspired by real events, from Saeed Hanaei who was responsible for the murder of 16 women between 2000 and 2001, is calculating in what it shares with reality and what it chooses to omit. In the film, we follow a journalist, Rashimi, (played by Zar Amir Ebrahimi ) who is involved in the search for the man responsible for the murder of many sex workers in the region. With the murders still unsolved, Rashimi uses everything at his disposal to solve the crime and bring him down.
holy spider is a chilling portrait of real events, with an incredible performance by Zar Amir Ebrahimi In the center. We are shown terrifying violent scenes, while following the throes of our protagonist with the misogyny and fear that fills the city. It also shows the corrupt nature of many police forces who don’t seem to be paying enough attention to the case.
Even as the public sees the crimes committed and Saeed’s disturbing motive (Mehdi Bajestani) there is always a thrilling sense of mystery and dread. Sometimes the film has scenes that don’t feel as cohesive as others, using certain tropes we’ve seen before. But what really makes this film resonate are the performances and the truth behind it: reality can be terrifying.
Writer/director Ali Abbassi spear we in an atmospheric cat and mouse that will have its hair on end when we see both sides. The script takes its liberties with the truth, but never feels exploitative. In place, holy spider book an expert Fast-paced, acted and written thriller that cites real horrors that many may not have known before. The cinematography of Nadim Carlson and the music of Martin Dirkov are also exceptional, keeping our collective pulse in a steady beat.
The film also shows what happens after he is arrested, and the disturbing reactions from the public and his family are equally disturbing. Sometimes infuriating, but never short of riveting, holy spider shows Ali Abbassi has a genuine eye and instinct for storytelling, and with the fantastic performance of Zar Amir Ebrahimi, he makes a movie that won’t leave you anytime soon.
I was able to speak at the Toronto International Film Festival with the star Zar Amir Ebrahimi on how she got involved in the project, the risks, and finding her character and writer/director Ali Abbassi on what prompted him to take the photo and the cost of lighting it.
Listen to the audio below:
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Film Inquiry would like to thank Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Ali Abbasi for speaking with us!
Holy Spider hits theaters on October 28 in the United States.
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