‘Spiderhead,’ a taut Science Fiction, Thriller movie directed by ‘Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinski. Chris Hemsworth shows Steve Abnesti, a prison warden and a scientist, conducting a conviction trial at the Spiderhead Penitentiary and Research Center, a remote island center. Miles Teller, who previously worked with Kosinski on ‘Only the Brave’ and ‘Maverick,’ starring Jeff, is one of the ‘Spiderhead’ inmates.
Like other inmates, he has volunteered for this program and at first, seems very determined. As the series progresses, his interactions with fellow prisoner Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett) deepen, and together, they discover Steve’s evil intentions.
Spiderhead: Movie Synopsis
The story of ‘Spiderhead’ is set in an unspecified time, but it is safe to assume that the future is near. The movie has airplanes and muscle cars, and the technology is not far off. The only science fiction about ‘Spiderhead’ drugs is given to prisoners who have become volunteers and MobiPaks, the surgical material in which the said drugs are given.
Steve Abnesti is apparently a consultant and expert in the fields of medical science and biochemistry. His drugs basically change a person’s mind, albeit temporarily. For example, N-40 or Luvactin is seen as a mood-enhancing drug that makes the subject happy. In contrast, Darkenfloxx administration leads to severe mental and physical stress. There is also a word-loss remedy, Verbaluce.
Jeff, Lizzy, and others from Spiderhead also take part in human trials in the hope of changing sentences and privileges. Prisoners at the camp enjoy a measure of freedom. There are no locked doors or orange jumpsuits. Prisoners can have their own accommodation and time outside. Gradually Jeff realizes that all of this comes at a high price he does not want to pay.
The idea of freedom of choice is undoubtedly the most important part of the story. Steve’s drugs are directly violated by the deception of choice. Each time a drug is used, the person being administered it must give oral consent. But they are prisons. Some of them have been sentenced to life in prison. Most of them enjoy the freedom that Spiderhead offers. They know that if they refuse treatment, they could be sent back to State Prison. So, actually, there is no choice here. Every prisoner in Spiderhead must be the guinea pig Steve wants to be.
We get Jeff’s story in stages throughout the movie. At first, we believe he was convicted of the death of one of his friends. Jeff was very drunk and was driving when he hit a tree. At first, he seems to really believe that Steve wants to change the world and wants his redemption by taking part in the experiment. At the time, he was close to Lizzy, whose reasons for his arrest were not disclosed until the film sequence.
In one of the trials, Jeff was placed with Heather (Tess Haubrich). No one seems to be attracted to anyone else, but after the administration of the N-40, their behavior changes dramatically. They have sex and say they are in love. After they climbed to the top of their medication, their feelings for love quickly disappeared. Steve repeats the temptation for Jeff and another article called Sarah.
He then joins Heather and Sarah and invites Jeff into the living room. Steve then asks Jeff to choose between Sarah and Heather as the title for Darkenfloxx. Jeff, who has been given the drug before and does not feel romantic for any woman, refuses. But his denial tells Steve enough things. Later, Darkenfloxx is given to Heather, and she commits suicide.
What Is The Real Meaning of Spiderhead?
The title ‘Spearhead’ refers to the Spiderhead Penitentiary and Research Center Prison, the center where Steve conducts his research and resides with Jeff and Lizzy. Spiderhead is unlike any other prison. It has no locked doors or orange jumpsuits, and inmates enjoy more freedom in Spearhead than at any other prison. They all came to Spiderhead out of state prisons after admitting to being part of Steve’s drug case. Although they are convicted murderers, prisoners are allowed to go anywhere in the facility and have their own accommodation.
As shown in the movie, the biochemical boundaries are Spiderhead, not physical. Not long after they arrived, the prisoners were placed in B-6 or OBDX or Obediex, making them very obedient. That’s why Steve can’t stay at Spiderhead without worrying about his health.
He knows that as Obediex moves through their bodies, prisoners cannot harm him. However, medicine is not perfect. The subject may ignore the order or in Obediex if he is told to throw away something he likes more than anything else. Ironically, this is portrayed in the movie as Steve, who views Obediex as his greatest creation.
The movie, based on a short story by American author George Saunders ‘Escape from Spiderhead,’ was first published in The New Yorker in 1910. In both movie and source, the center seems to get its name from its spider-like programs. There is a deeper meaning to all of this. The title seems to refer to the spider’s way of hunting its prey and comparing it with what is happening in the area.
Prisoners are drawn to promises of sentencing and certain sentences and privileges. They were then forced to join the Obediex, which deprives prisoners of freedom of choice. In this context, Obediex plays the same role as the web or spider venom. Once the prisoners are safe, the trial begins in earnest. Although the articles give their consent in all stages of the trial, the idea of choice here is nothing but false. Because of Obediex, the electorate wants what they want but what Steve needs them to do.
Spiderhead Ending: Steve Abnesti Is Alive or Dead?
Steve has repeatedly defended his skeptical case against him, saying he was instructed to handle it by the Protocol Committee of the pharmaceutical company he works for. After Heather’s violent death, Jeff reads Steve’s notes and discovers that there is no Protocol Committee. The name of the company is Abnesti Pharmaceuticals – Steve’s company.
He is the creator of the drug and is now experimenting with prisoners with the help of his colleague Mark, who specializes in the technical aspects of drugs. In Steve’s notes, Jeff finds a Bingo card with gold stars marking several boxes. He realizes that the boxes represent a variety of drugs. Luvactin is N-40, while I-16 is Darkenfloxx. The gold stars mark all the boxes except two: N-40 and B-6.
After Heather’s death, Mark becomes disillusioned with the plan and works with Jeff to bring down Steve. In a critical situation, Mark is apparently on sick leave, which Steve thinks is because of what he (Steve) planned to do that day. Steve has already found a connection between Jeff and Lizzy and now wants to use the latter as a Darkenfloxx article, revealing why Lizzy was arrested, forcing her to break up, and begging Jeff to pass the case.
Steve also owns MobiPak and uses it to feel drugged, especially the N-40. His excuse is that drugs will definitely be considered at some point, so he needs to get ready for self-examination. In fact, he seems to be addicted to the euphoric sensation N-40 gives him.
During Lizzy’s session, Steve suddenly begins to laugh. It has been revealed that Mark has installed Steve’s MobiPak, which connects it to a smartphone/control device provided by Jeff. As Jeff confronts Steve, Mark is on his way to Spiderhead with the authorities. Steve admits that the drug he was testing was either B-6 or OBDX or Obediex, giving the controller the amount of control over the subject. But it is not perfect. Obediex is powerful enough to let Steve live among the assassins, but it didn’t work well enough to win a gold star on a Bingo card.
Finally, as the authorities arrive, Steve sends other prisoners to follow Jeff and Lizzy as he tries to escape by sea. However, while fighting Jeff, his MobiPak was full of drugs, and he hit a rock and died. Although the time of his death could not be determined, Jeff and Lizzy saw an explosion caused by an accident. In addition, Steve had no escape and was under the influence of drugs.
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