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It's sad that this horror gem is so rare. "The Water Spider" is an incredibly creepy and atmospheric film. And it's storyline is just as obscure and bizarre. A man living in a small village, who has a fascination with insects, finds a small spider by the lake. He places it in his pocket and takes it into his home, unbeknownst to his clingy, overbearing wife. Soon, the tiny spider grows into a big, hairy tarantula, and the man hides it in his attic...to continue 'growing.' And grow it does, into a beautiful young woman with long black hair! This girl, who does not speak, becomes the man's secret, until the small minded village folk notice the girl stealing their food in the night, and trace her to the man's home. When the wife figures it out, she leaves her husband to his new "mistress."
That's really it. Little explanation is given as to why this spider transfers into a girl who resembles the beautiful Jess Franco muse, Soledad Miranda. But we find that no explanation is needed, as this movie brings the viewer so effectively into it's strange world, that we just accept it. Another reviewer claimed that there was little dialog, so an understanding of the French language isn't necessary. But actually there is much speaking, and you really need to have an understanding of the language, or subtitles to understand all the nuances and the motivations behind the characters. Unfortunately this title is almost impossible to find, as it was only released briefly, on VHS/PAL format from Belgium. But somehow the grainy, murky quality of the existing version only adds to the haunting look of this beautiful film. Quiet and slow moving, and featuring a gorgeous soundtrack, "Water Spider" is very much like the old horror films from the 1930's. Fans of the surreal, and of classic horror should seek this out. It's worth the effort.
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