I am really glad that I have watched dead ringers just recently. in many respects spider is a continuation of the ideas presented in dead ringers. cronenberg takes this exploration of the troubled mind to further stylistic extremes, and this is the main preoccupation of the film. once again a willing viewer can be completely immersed in the unsettling world full of unresolved tension. slight repetitions, absence of space (we are physically locked, claustrophobic - we never get to see living spaces as a whole, we never get to see the skies - similar to dead ringers, but a lot more obvious and effective), deliberately slow pace, pastel colors (direct sunlight only appears once in the whole picture), lack of dialogue - all of it creates such a dramatic and detailed environment; I enjoyed this incredible attention to detail, this lovingly, artistically created sense of abandon and loneliness (the use of negative spaces, when spider is scribbling in his notebook, his back to us; the awkward gritty fingers holding the pen; the child's visions that subtly cross into the imaginary).
by adopting the first-person view (as opposed to a side observer in dead ringers), the director is able to completely transform the reality, taking the viewers much further, than it was possible in dead ringers, creating a complete dream world.
i have always felt a strange fascination with uneasy, unfit, awkward characters, their autistic behavior and meticulously constructed worlds. this is the reason why I have enjoyed the likes of one hour photo (or even la pianiste).
it is not an easy film to watch, but every single shot is like an additional brush stroke on canvas - nothing is random, all of it is setup for the viewer to fully indulge in this moody atmosphere, this dreamlike, almost surreal world. the stories merge slowly, with every shot carefully composed, staged and presented to us, a photographic still, perfected to the absolute.