MovieChat Forums > Geomi sup (2004) Discussion > Intricate and Mesmerizing (Spoilers)

Intricate and Mesmerizing (Spoilers)

Intricate and Mesmerizing


Despite the intricate complexities of the moments herein, this film can be summarized in one simple statement: None of these events ever took place.

In Hollywood, this type of thing is usually expressed very plainly (and pathetically) with the main character awakening in their bed at the end of the film. Spider Forest avoids this amateurism in that it slowly unravels the nature of its events throughout. Clues are given near the beginning, but their consequences are not made clear until later on. Interestingly, the consequences of every single clue converge on a single, inevitable conclusion: None of these events ever took place.

The old man in the hospital gives the protagonist a blue key which is used at the photoshop later on. In reality, there’s simply no way the old man could have known that the protagonist would need it.

When the protagonist tells his wife about his planecrash dream, she seriously asserts it to be reality, only to then later board the plane that kills her.

The protagonist plays with the dolls, showing the girl doll float away from the boy doll in a very specific way. Later on, he hears a story about a series of events that unfold the same exact way.

The protagonist and the children witness a murder with the same M.O. in identical circumstances.

The pictures that were developed (showing his wife eating ice cream), could never have actually been developed, since the wife took the camera on the plane with her when it crashed.

The entire story about the boy and girl is contradicted by the school teacher.

Three identical protagonists are present to witness the murder: the one who committed the murder, the one who directly witnessed it, and the one (bandaged up) who was watching the witness.

Both the photoshop girl and the detective disappear into thin air at the end of the tunnel.

The protagonist witnessed himself getting hit by a car.

The old man is replaced with a little boy at the start of the second cycle of near identical events, which automatically invalidates the usefulness of any scene in the entire film.

It becomes obvious to an astute viewer that every one of these clues contributes to the conclusion that none of these events ever took place. In most films there would exist a scene somewhere that represents an event that actually happened. If the lead character woke up in their bed, then the viewer knows that the events in the movie represent a dream. Spider Forest does not provide any such moments. It leaves the viewer to decide what the entire 120 minutes are referencing. Is it the cyclical trappings of a spirit in Spider Forest? Is it the perverted dreams concocted by a mental ward patient? Is it a book of fictional events written by an author? Who knows?

This state of affairs brings us to the primary flaw of Spider Forest, complete ambiguity. Any and all actual events occur offscreen, and are never referenced in the film itself. Most reviewers misunderstand this in that they attempt to extract reliable events from the film when none exist. The entire story of Spider Forest itself never really happened, so the nature of the film, when viewed panoramically, is completely enigmatic. That’s a pretty big plot hole to leave out there.

A previous IMDb reviewer claimed that Spider Forest is “What "Tale of Two Sisters" desperately *wanted* and utterly failed to be: Brilliant.” The problem with this statement, as I see it, is that ATOTS actually provides an objective basis for explanation, while Spider Forest does not. This reviewer also said that “the overall effect is to leave you in something of a daze - not of disgust at a puzzle that's insoluble by design.” Ironically, the entire basis of Spider Forest IS to be insoluble by design! Nothing actually happened! ATOTS, on the other hand, is DESIGNED to be solved by an astute viewer. I tell ya, that IMDb reviewer got it completely backwards.

In the end, Spider Forest is an enjoyable, well-made movie with an extreme (original) storytelling structure, but its enigmatic character casts its 120 minutes into complete ambiguity. The only thing the viewer knows for sure is that none of these events ever took place.


Well, it does seem possible that one version of the events presented could have taken place, and everything else is either a dream or distorted memories (from head trauma?) or whatever else scrambling up the storytelling. To actually purposely make a movie to make absolutely no real sense and have no plausible delivery of events is just nuts, even for the most independent of film maker types! Kudos to Asian filmmakers for being so experimental and whatnot, but wow, to make a completely pointless plot is just crazy. lol


Good analysis, but I would suggest that very likely the main character, a young boy, died in the spider forest on the night his father killed his wife (the boy's mother) and her lover. That the film is about the spirit of the boy trying to come to terms with his situation. When he finally succeeds, he's reborn. Of course, I/m not sure of this, which makes the film only so much more fun. Those Koreans certainly know how to make a lot with little. SPIDER FOREST imo is not the masterpiece TWO SISTERS is, but it's bloody good.


I've settled on the hypothesis that the movie is about a mind trying to adapt to an injured brain. It does so by reshuffling it's most prominent memories: A childhood love, A childhood illness, His father as a teacher, His father on his death bed, His mother with her lover, His beloved wife, The death of his beloved wife, Witnessing the murder of his boss and girlfriend, being hit by a car driven by the murderer. We are in this mind in the body lying comatose in a hospital bed.

Or maybe not.


I like that, but now the current wisdom has it that we make memories, rather than recall them, so perhaps the brain-damaged man is reshuffling some memories and interlacing them with fantasies. At the end he constructs a dream-reality that permits him to come back to it were.


After rewatching this movie a couple of times, it really is difficult to sort out. Now I'm kinda leaning towards the interpretation that the very end of the film represents "reality" when he wakes up in the hospital bed. Everything that came before it is a mish mash of memories and illusions.

I remember the woman looking back at him during the final scene and it appears that he has "released" her from Spider Forest because he remembered her.

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