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Screener Squad: Spiderhead

Spiderhead Movie Review


With the combined efforts of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the screenwriters of the Deadpool films, and Joseph Kosinski, the director of Top Gun Maverick, you could make assumptions about the sort of movie you’re going to get. Action, satire, dark comedy all smashed together into some fantastic new flick. And with talent like Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller on screen, you could make further assumptions regarding wit and charm and possibly muscular shirtlessness. But then you might see the Netflix logo at the start of this new sci-fi suspense thriller and other assumptions may enter your brain space. Thoughts of, “Uh oh. I’ve seen The Cloverfield Paradox.” Or perhaps, “Oof, that Jared Leto movie where he thinks he’s Japanese is a Netflix original.” But to be fair, the streaming giant has also given us Roma, Beasts of No Nation, and Trial of the Chicago 7. They can and have made excellent films with top tier talent. So, when Jena, Sarah Jane, Chad, and T.C. gathered together to watch Spiderhead, all those thoughts and worries were sitting in their frontal lobes, leaving them curious about some of the mind altering pills used in this movie. Spiderhead takes place in a futuristic research facility where prisoners of serious crimes are offered an alternative to hard time: They can take part in a series of drug tests conducted by Steve Abnesti (Hemsworth). These tests use chemicals to manipulate the brain chemistry of people and alter their behavior: lust and fear, honesty or obedience.  The drugs in question have witty names that associate with their effects. Darkenfloxx makes people think dark, horrible things. Verbaluce enhances the language centers. Vivistif works like Viagra. Jeff (Miles Teller) finds himself questioning the reality of his emotions and sets out to discover the truth. But did Spiderhead leave the Squad questioning their own realities?


DIRECTED BY: Joseph Kosinski

STARRING: Miles Teller, Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett, Mark Paguio, Tess Haubrich, Angie Milliken, Stephen Tongun, Daniel Reader, Sam Delich, BeBe Bettencourt, Joey Vieira, Ron Smyck, Nathan Jones




T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)

T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.



Chad Halvorsen (Screener Squad)

Chad Halvorsen currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, where he produces and edits commercials, films, and everything in between. He was always a fan of film/television growing up, spending days in the Summer, making (terrible) home movies with his brothers. Little did he know that passion would carry on into adulthood. Since 2006, Chad has worked for several agencies in various departments. Shooting, producing, editing, production management, directing, and when forced to, writing copy. In 2015, Chad decided to take the big leap and become a freelancer. Since then, he’s produced content for Lyft, AT&T, Target, and Discovery Network. His passion lies in entertaining people, making them feel better, even for a moment. All the pain and suffering of this business is worth it, if even just one person views his work. Chad is a frequent podcaster, most notably posing as a co-host for the podcast “The Film Illogical Society.”



Sarah Jane (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)

Sarah Jane was born and raised in Southern California but currently calls Austin, TX her home. She’s seen over 5,700 movies so far with zero plans on stopping. She has a penchant for all things exploitation, and she loves Godzilla with all her heart. Her favorite films are Deep Red, Le Samourai, and Miller’s Crossing. When she isn’t watching movies, she’s busy herding her four cats, her husband, and her 11-year-old kiddo. She’s been a contributor to TalkFilmSociety, Daily Grindhouse, FThisMovie!, Looper, and the Austin Chronicle. You can find her on Twitter and Letterboxd at @fookthis.



” width=Jena Perry (Screener Squad)

Jena Perry. Aka Luna. Aka Dion. Aka Memori. Aka Dog whisperer. Aka whiskey connoisseur. As you can see, depending on when you met this Oakland, California native, you have experienced a completely different person, each time. After finally deciding on a 13+year career choice as a Videographer and Radio Personality, Jena balances her time between pursuing her Doctorate in Philosophy, providing insightful and funny critiques on films and Television, raising her daughter and dog in Ohio, and constantly fighting off the existential dread that is being a dope black woman in America in the 20th century.



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