The Ending of ‘Spiderhead’ Explained

In ‘Spiderhead,’ nothing is what it appears. Here’s a breakdown of that wild twist ending,

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By Aurora Amidon · Published on June seventeenth, 2022

Ending Explained is a recurring column wherein we discover the finales, secrets and techniques, and themes of attention-grabbing films and reveals, each new and outdated. This time, we contemplate the ending of the brand new Netflix psychological thriller Spiderhead. Yes, put together for spoilers.


If there was a drug that would make the whole lot round you look stunning, would you’re taking it? What about one which made you discover the whole lot humorous? Or one which made you fall in love? And what if there was a substance you possibly can give somebody that made them do something you say? Or one which precipitated them nice ache and discomfort?

These are the questions explored in Spiderhead, Netflixs new sci-fi thriller directed by Top Gun: Mavericks Joseph Kosinski and penned by Deadpool co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Based on George Saunders 2010 New Yorker brief story Escape from Spiderhead, the movie follows Jeff (Miles Teller), a younger man serving time in an experimental jail facility referred to as Spiderhead.

Conceived by pharma-God Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), Spiderhead administers take a look at medicine that create artificial emotional states equivalent to love, laughter, or honesty to inmates as half of a preliminary trial. In change, topics are granted just a little extra independence throughout their sentences. And if all this sounds just a little sketchy, dont fear: Steve assures Jeff that he created these substances to make sure world peace. But, as you would possibly anticipate, it isnt lengthy earlier than the medicine begin to have (actually) hostile results.

By Spiderheads third act, Jeff is fed up with Steves threats to make use of the drug Darkenfloxx which provokes acute suicidal tendencies on prisoners throughout the exams. So Jeff begins digging round and discovers that Steve is within the course of of testing a model new drug: B6, or O-B-D-X (sounds just a little like obedience, eh?). Meanwhile, Steve is within the course of of placing B6 by its ultimate take a look at: Is it sturdy sufficient to make you damage somebody that you just love?

So Steve fills Jeff with the submission-juice, and locations the latters kinda-girlfriend, Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), within the take a look at room. Then, he instructions Jeff to pump her with the dreaded Darkenfloxx. Jeff says no, proving that B6 isnt fairly as sturdy as Steve had hoped. Jeff then decides to cease his boss as soon as and for all, and the 2 get in a combat, which leads Steves drug field to interrupt and subsequently flood him with a cocktail of his personal nefarious potions.

Meanwhile, Jeff rescues Lizzy and the 2 make a mad sprint for the exit, however not earlier than Steve orders the remaining of the inmates, who’re unknowingly jacked up on B6, to cease the couple from leaving the ability. The two get out proper within the nick of time, although, and race again to the mainland on a ship. To escape being caught by the cops, Steve flies his aircraft off the island, however the Darkenfloxx compels him to crash into the aspect of a rocky mountain earlier than he could make his nice escape.

So Spiderhead ends with two characters actually using off into the sundown. But is it actually a contented ending? On one degree, this triumphant finale is undeniably concerning the perseverance of love above all else. After all, love is the one state of being that B6 can’t overpower. And on a smaller scale, Jeffs love for Lizzy is what lastly offers him the energy to interrupt free from Spiderheads grasp, regardless of initially believing that he deserved his therapy on the facility because of the nature of the crime that despatched him there.

One can safely assume, then, that after Jeff and Lizzy return to the mainland, they may dwell a contented life collectively. This is an undeniably much less cynical ending than Saunders brief story, which not solely sees Jeff committing suicide with Darkenfloxx, but in addition forgoes a love-interest character altogether, and thereby takes the query of love persevering over the whole lot solely off the desk.

But the top of Spiderhead isnt all rainbows and butterflies. Behind the happily-ever-after ending shot, the movie inevitably leaves its viewer with a bitter style of their mouth. Earlier, Jeff mentions that this isnt the primary experimental facility he has been to. So whereas Steves dying is undeniably a step in the suitable path, one can assume that, on this world, there are dozens of different Steves hungry to step into his sneakers and exploit prisoners.

This leads us to our subsequent query: was Steve all the time corrupt? There are two believable choices. One: his firm, Abnesti Pharmaceuticals, actually did begin out as a enterprise for world peace. Steve merely wished to get folks laughing extra, loving extra, and being extra sincere. But then, as soon as he obtained a style for being the puppetmaster, he couldnt cease till he had whole management ie: till B6 was coursing by the whole populations veins.

Or perhaps that concept offers Steve an excessive amount of credit score. Perhaps B6 was all the time the top objective, and the opposite medicine have been merely a way to an finish. The love drug, for instance, has the potential to permit the administrator to check whether or not or not a topic will hurt his cherished one whereas beneath the affect of B6. The honesty drug is solely one other kind of obedience, too, and Darkenfloxx is nothing greater than an elevated kind of torture. In the top, perhaps these substances have been all conceived as mere child steps towards the creation of B6.

The true key to understanding Spiderheads ending, although, is available in a comparability between it and its supply materials. In Escape from Spiderhead, the issue of exploitation stays on the forefront till the very finish. Unlike within the movie, B6 doesnt come within the kind of a twist. Instead, it’s current from day one. This asserts a sort of cynicism and unavoidability inherent in Spiderhead, the place within the movie, Jeff begins off with a sort of naive optimism.

Where the story is about abuse and exploitation, the movie is concerning the perseverance of love. Perhaps the latter is the best way it’s as a result of of Hollywoods want for a contented ending. Perhaps its extra sincere concerning the state of the world. Or, maybe, we’re just too afraid to acknowledge the ugly reality.

Related Topics: Ending Explained

Aurora Amidon spends her days operating the Great Expectations column and making an attempt to persuade folks that Hostel II is one of the very best films of all time. Read her principally embarrassing tweets right here: @aurora_amidon.

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