Spiderhead Ending Explained and Review: The Dark Pasts of Steve, Jeff and Lizzy
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Spiderhead, the movieis a science-fiction thriller dramamovie based on the 2010 short novel “Escape from Spiderhead” by George Saunders.
It revolves around the scientist Steve Abnesti, played by Chris Hemsworth, who dreams of changing how the world functions through his medicines.
He runs a drug testing facility named Spiderhead Penitentiary and Research Centre, where selected prisoners are allowed to stay with much better facilities.
The inmates are actually the volunteers for Steve’s drug-testing program, and he never fails to mention the favour and service he is doing for the inmates and humanity.
Inmates Jeff, played by Miles Teller, and Lizzy, played by Jurnee Smollett, both of whom are trying to get past the guilt of their dark past, connect to each other, and Jeff tries to get to the bottom of it all for the sake of Lizzy.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski of “Top Gun: Maverick” fame, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have written the screenplay.
When was Spiderhead Released, and Where To Watch It?
Spiderhead, the movie, was released in Sydney on June 11, 2022, and it landed on the streaming platform Netflixon June 17, 2022.
The running time of Spiderhead is one hour and forty-seven minutes.
It was shot in Australia, on a four-week schedule, in the year 2020.
The Plot of Spiderhead
At the beginning of Spiderhead, we find an inmate Ray being administered a G46 drug after saying “acknowledge”.
However, the drug is not administered through a needle. Instead, a Mobipak containing vials of Steve’s medicines is installed in the bodies of the inmates, while Steve or his assistant Mark administer the drug through a remote device which looks like a smartphone.
As soon as G46, which Steve has named Laffodil, goes into Ray’s body, he starts laughing uncontrollably.
He laughs not only at the jokes that Steve is telling him from the other side of the screen but also at the gruesome facts about the massive genocide in Rwanda.
Later, inmate Jeff is taken on a “field trip”.
He is blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location where he is administered Steve’s B15 drug named verbalise.
The drug lets the recipients describe their inner feelings, and they are never at a loss for words.
This experience makes Jeff go on a guilt trip as well, and he remembers the fateful day when he was at a party with his wife Emma and friends.
After the party, Jeff was in an inebriated state, yet he chose to drive with his wife and a friend sitting in the car.
Unfortunately, Jeff crashed the car into a tree, instantly killing his friend.
Jeff’s wife’s fate is not disclosed yet, though he calls her frequently, asking for forgiveness.
After his field trip, Lizzy, who is in charge of the cooking, and yearns to go out in the sun, asks him about his experience.
Later, Jeff is administered N40, a Luvactin drug, and made to fall in love with two different women, Heather and Sara.
Afterwards, to check out the efficacy and longevity of the drug, Steve asks him to choose between Heather and Sara to administer the drug I 16, Darkenfloxx.
It turns out that Jeff himself was once tested with this drug and knows its traumatic effects.
Nevertheless, he refuses to give the drug to either of them, though he maintains that he is no longer in love with any of them.
Steve gives in momentarily, though he says that he is answerable to the Protocol Committee, under whose instructions he is working.
The next day Steve calls Jeff again and says that the protocol Committee has insisted on administering Darkenfloxx to Heather, which Jeff very reluctantly administers.
Jeff himself is given the drug Verbaluse, and he describes Heather’s trauma without any feeling.
Heather gets violent and kills herself. Mark and Steve rush there, and Steve accidentally drops the keys from his drawer.
Jeff opens the drawer and finds Steve’s personal diary containing information about Abnesti Pharmaceuticals, which proves that Steve Abnesti is the owner of this facility and is answerable to none.
Mark is guilt-ridden and says that this incident should be reported to authorities.
However, Steve manages to convince him that all these sacrifices are for the betterment of humanity and the world.
Spiderhead Ending Explained: The Dark Pasts of Steve, Jeff and Lizzy
Steve tries to brainwash Jeff by saying that science tends to give unpredictable results, and such casualties do occur.
Steve also tells Jeff that when he was a kid, his father abandoned him, left him at a foster home, and never returned.
This childhood trauma explains some of Steve’s madness.
Jeff, too, recollects his past when it is revealed that his wife, too, had died in the explosion that occurred after the car accident.
So it turns out that Jeff has been calling and asking for forgiveness from his dead wife all this time!
Steve calls Jeff again, and Steve says that Jeff now needs to administer Darkenfloxx to Lizzy, which he declines.
Instead, Steve asks him to think it over the whole night. Then, Steve asks Mark to double the dose of Jeff’s drug.
When Mark goes to double the dose, Jeff asks him which drug the red vial contains, to which Mark answers that it is just a placebo.
Jeff tells him that he knows everything and asks him what is he doing here.
Mark says he worked here thinking he was serving humanity, to which Jeff says he can still do that.
When Jeff refuses to comply in the morning also, Steve tells him about the crime for which Lizzy got sentenced.
Lizzy had told Jeff that she had committed some petty thefts for which she was sentenced, but it turns out that she had left her infant daughter in the car, causing her death.
Jeff is unperturbed to hear this, and Steve administers the drug to Lizzy.
Steve realises that Mark has spiked Steve’s Mobipak with the B6 drug, the OBDX or the obedience drug.
Steve wanted to test this on Jeff as he wanted to see if, under the influence of this drug, Jeff could hurt someone he loves.
Steve tells Jeff that Steve wants to make the world a better place by creating harmony amongst people’s actions.
People should do what they should do and not what they want to do.
He dreams of a world where people do what they are told to do. He also tells Jeff that his and Lizzy’s sentences have long been over.
Steve overcomes the effect of the drug and attacks Jeff. Jeff overpowers him and goes on to rescue Lizzy, who is trying to strangulate herself. Jeff resurrects her, and they try to escape.
Steve announces over the intercom that two inmates are trying to escape and the other inmates should contain them. The duo fight the inmates and escape.
Steve, too, escapes in a chopper, taking the vials with him. However, under the influence of drugs, his helicopter crashes into the hills.
In the last scene of Spiderhead, Jeff laments that there is no drug for forgiveness, so one must work for the same.
Spiderhead Review: Our Take On Spiderhead
In Spiderhead, basically a two-person show, we get to see excellent performances from Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller.
The music by Joseph Trapanese is both foot-tapping and gives a nostalgic feel.
The cinematography by Claudio Miranda is also outstanding with the picturesque locales of the Australian coast.
However, with a half-baked and predictable plot, this thriller drama just fails to thrill us.
The viewers are never at the edges of their seats and fail to connect to the characters.
All said, Spiderhead is a must-watch for the fans of Chris Hemsworth, especially for the sequences when he is in a lighter mood, dancing to the music.