In RE/Search's Incredibly Strange Films (an essential book for lovers of strange cinema), Jim Morton describes Spider Baby as "a television sitcom directed by Luis Buñuel." That's an apt description, for Spider Baby does indeed have the same efficient, functional lighting and camerawork as classic sitcoms from the 1960s. This visual style has been fused to a twisted sensibility, giving us central characters who suffer a degenerative condition that causes them to regress mentally. As we watch these characters--at once, they're both na´ve and murderous--the movie's visual style stands in stark contrast to the subject matter. However, the complacency of the visuals works in the movie's favor, for it suggests a darker side to the blissfully secure visions offered by television comedies.
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