The Red Spider 0+

(Czerwony Pająk), Marcin Koszałka, PL, CZ, SK 2015, Poland version / Czech and English subtitles, 95 min

Kraków, 1967. Karol’s parents would like their son to train as a doctor but, for the time being, he spends his time practising his diving and observes everything going on around him with a stony expression. In a life devoid of positive emotions his attention focuses on the trail of a mass murderer who has already hammered to death more than ten people. While the city is gripped with fear, Karol is ready to get out there and stand in his way. Seclusive in his behaviour, the young man doesn’t get enough excitement from adrenaline sports, and the risk he is taking appears to be the only way he can truly feel alive. The film clearly points to Marcin Koszałka’s training as a cameraman; and he constructs the work with the precision of a sculptor, at the same time employing this quality to expose the story’s rotten core. Kraków is here depicted as an inhospitable place, while the mise en scène underscores the emptiness of the protagonists’ lives. Moreover, the film’s overall remoteness gives rise to a heightened sense of the unsettling perverseness of what is actually happening on screen.

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