In the Iranian city of Mashhad, Saeed believes he is on a ‘holy quest’. By day, he is an unassuming family man. At night, he lures female sex workers to his apartment and murders them. As Saeed continues to escape arrest, journalist Rahimi arrives in the city. She’s determined to investigate the serial killer case, even if that means putting herself in danger.
Director Ali Abbasi made waves in 2018 with his unusual fantasy drama Border, and his follow-up is a very different but no less striking proposition. A fictionalised account of a real-life serial killer who murdered 16 women in the early 2000s, Holy Spider is a dark crime thriller that doubles as a harrowing examination of institutional and cultural misogyny.
Festival & Awards
Cannes Film Festival, 2022 – Best Actress (Zar Amir-Ebrahimi)
Fantastic Fest, 2022 – Best Director (Abi Abbasi)
Danish Film Awards (Robert Prize) – won 11 awards, including Danish film of the year
“A cracking, effective thriller, powered by uneasiness” – The Irish Times, ★★★★★
“Holy Spider is equal parts gripping and disturbing” – The Hollywood Reporter
“A crime thriller which shows how far fundamentalist morality can be twisted and how banal the face of evil really is” – Screen International
– Stephanie Zacharek, Time Magazine
117 mins | Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden | 2022 | 16
Zar Amir-Ebrahimi, Mehdi Bajestani, Arash Ashtiani, Forouzan Jamshidnejad