2013, Denis Villeneuve (Maelstrom, Incendies) -- download
This is an artistic movie, well shot full of wide scenes that make Toronto urbane yet chilling, institutional. Like Prisoners before it, it is quiet and bleak, even in the brightest sun, the skylines tainted with brown smog. There is an underlying tension to everything and every interaction in the movie. Adam meets his double, and its is not enlightening but scares him. Daniel St Claire, the stage name of Anthony, seems to be everything Adam is not -- confident, wealthy, stylish and intimidating. They are not twins, they are not uncannily alike -- they are exact doubles, down to matching scars. But this movie is not about finding out why, its about becoming aware of something more in the world, and being terrified of it. Villeneuve does such a good job of keeping this tension tight as a guide wire, while seeding us with curiosity.
When I see a movie that is enigmatic, as drawn from symbolism, I like to pretend everything is exactly what we see. They are not scenes of giant spiders because the spiders suggest we are caught in webs of control that we are unaware of. I like to envision a true web, an alternate Toronto that is under the dark, smoke tainted control of an unseen force. That these forces are playing with Adam, or perhaps Anthony, by giving him something to upset his life. There is a scene of the cityscape, with a gargantuan spider in the style of Louise Bourgeois's sculptures, roaming the horizon. It is merely cinematic (merely?) but my scifi mind scans the plot possibilities, seeking evil overlords that ride spiders, playing with their inhabitants who are wriggling flies in their web. If Villeneuve wants to conjure spiders as a thinly veiled comment on how we live urban lives, he can do so, but I see things more plainly, and likely more terrifyingly.