What’s it about?
Inés, Justo, and Gerardo are right-wing radicals in 1970s Chile, who set in motion events that are brought to bear in the present day.
What did we think?
Peter Linning says: After a well-paced introduction in the present day, Araña establishes its lead characters as wholly unlikeable fascists in the 1970s, and are no less loathsome when we connect with them in the present day.
Unsympathetic protagonists aren’t unique in cinema, but with the exception of the present-day incarnations of Inés (a one-time beauty queen), and Gerardo (the quiet, violent veteran), these characters simply aren’t terribly interesting. The movie’s themes are best highlighted in the contrast between Inés’ immaculately maintained countenance in the public eye and Gerardo’s deranged, shabby appearance as an old radical – reflecting how their fascist tendencies developed towards the mainstream and the fringes, respectively.
Araña focuses on an interesting period in South American history, but relies on an understanding of the historical context that most domestic audiences simply won’t possess. 4/10