HIFF Review: ‘The Spider’s Lair’

Oct. 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

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REVIEW BY JASON GENEGABUS / jason@staradvertiser.com

Fans of MTV’s “Catfish” will love “The Spider’s Lair,” which follows a trio of small-time Filipino Facebook con artists who lure unsuspecting individuals into parting with their hard-earned pesos.

1015 HIFF spiders lair

‘THE SPIDER’S LAIR (BABAGWA)’

Spotlight on the Philippines

International Premiere

Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, and 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18

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Greg (Alex Medina) fancies himself an actor, although the majority of his time is spent on the phone with various strangers pretending to be a model named Bam Bonifacio.

Men, women, straight or gay, it doesn’t matter — Greg’s goal is to convince his marks to electronically transfer 25,000 pesos (about $580 in U.S. Dollars) to his partner’s bank account.

But Greg has to support his mother, and his girlfriend desperately wants to take a vacation. Suddenly, his share of the illicit proceeds isn’t enough. And to make things worse, this smooth-talking Facebook Don Juan ends up falling for one of his targets.

“The Spider’s Lair” is certainly R-rated when it comes to language, nudity and sexual content, but all elements are necessary for director Jason Pau Laxamana to convey the gritty nature of life in parts of the Philippines where money is hard to come by — some people will do just about anything to make ends meet.

And just like a good episode of “Catfish,” this film ends with a twist that, while slightly predictable, provides one of those OMG moments that will keep some viewers talking long after they leave the theater.
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Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+. Click here for more coverage of the 33rd Hawaii International Film Festival.

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