March 22, 2023

Holy Spider is a film directed by Ali Abbasi.


The film is based on a true story. It follows a journalist, Rahimi as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the “Spider Killer” in the holy city of Mashhad.


It is definitely a gritty and grimy film, but it has a lot of style. It features a high contrast and cold palette that perfectly coincide with the film’s dark tones. There is nothing subtle in the film, but it is not exploitative.


Zahra Amir Ebrahimi as Rahimi was amazing. Ebrahimi brought a lot of strength and passion to her role, and I was constantly rooting for her to succeed. The scene where Rahimi faces Saeed was especially intense and scary. All of the cast was really incredible, from the lead actors to even the children.


After watching Holy Spider, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I was fully engaged throughout the film and felt a whirlwind of emotions. The killings in the film are definitely disturbing, so if you can’t handle these sorts of depictions, I would stray away from watching. I appreciate that despite the film being based on a true story, it doesn’t sensationalize the killer or feel exploitative, which is the case with many true-crime shows and movies. This film is especially urgent and timely considering current events, and it is a must-watch.

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