Chris Hemsworth in Spiderhead. | Image: Netflix

There’s something devious about the playfulness of Netflix’s Spiderhead. The sci-fi thriller, led by a dapper Chris Hemsworth, takes place at a remote prison slash research center, where inmates are given a surprising amount of freedom in exchange for being subjected to experimental pharmaceutical treatments that do everything from making them feel terrified to creating an impossible-to-satiate hunger. It’s bleak stuff. And yet much of the film has a light tone to help mask its devious nature; Hemsworth dances to ’80s pop, and inmates spend their free time playing arcade games and creating snacks with prosciutto and nectarines.

The whiplash between these moments and the dark premise is delightful, though ultimately, Spiderhead doesn’t…

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