The Red Spider

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    The Red Spider

    Czerwony pająk

    Directed by

    Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic


    90 min

    • Polish

    Drama, Thriller

    Karlovy Vary IFFT-Mobile New Horizons IFF

    Karol is an ordinary young man, living in the 1960s Cracow. Poland is under communist regime, times are dark and murky, while the city is empty and morose. After winning a diving tournament, Karol and his teammates go to a local funfair to celebrate his success. Karol leaves them and goes to take a piss behind one of the caravans. On his way back he discovers a body of a murdered boy, presumably the new victim of Red Spider, a terrifying serial killer, prowling the streets of Cracow. On his way back to the fair, Karol passes an ordinarily‐looking man in his 40s, wearing a dark coat and a beret, holding a leather briefcase in his hand. Karol is strangely drawn to the man, who turns out to be a Vet. He follows him and tries to get closer to the silent, mysterious man, whom he believes to be the infamous Red Spider. In the meantime Karol is approached by Danka – a slightly older photographer at the local newspaper. Tempted by love, fascinated by death, Karol will soon have to make the most important choice of his life.


    • Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director, FIPRESCI Prize - goEast FF
    • FIPRESCI Award - goEast

    Labels & Line Ups


    Filip Pławiak
    Adam Woronowicz
    Julia Kijowska
    Małgorzata Foremniak
    Marcin Koszałka
    Łukasz M. Maciejewski
    Marta Szreder
    Marcin Koszałka
    Krzysztof Komander
    Petr Ostrouchov
    MD4 SP. Z O.O.


    Marcin Koszalka’s film eschews typical narrative tropes to produce a rich and atmospheric work that refuses to offer any easy answers.

    Laurence Boyce, Cineuropa

    A coolly compelling crime thriller that succeeds in holding the attention despite ignoring the genre's suspense-driven procedural rules.

    Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

    An unconventional serial killer movie.

    Peter Debruge, Variety

    Marcin Koszałka

    Marcin Koszałka


    Marcin Koszałka (b. 1970, Kraków) studied sociology, cinematography and production at the University of Silesia in Katowice (2001). He worked as cameraman on several features. His documentaries were awarded at many festivals. His short DECLARATION OF IMMORTALITY won Best Short Documentary Award at KVIFF in 2010. THE RED SPIDER (2015) is his first film to have entered for the main competition at Karlovy Vary.