Sticky Web

If the synopsis to Spin a Dark Web sounds familiar, that’s because of 1950’s 711 Ocean Drive. The two movies carry identical themes and ideas; the only change is in location. Spin a Dark Web chooses Soho, London.

Soho now is luxurious and high class. In 1955, it was overrun with prostitution and mafia. In that period steps Lee Patterson, a war hero from Canada, trying to work his way up from poverty. Spin a Dark Web lets Patterson play a naive kid – impossibly naive – who begins rigging phones to benefit co-star Martin Benson’s gambling ring. It’s ages before morality catches up to Patterson.

There’s a little angst protruding from this script. Patterson ditched the country he fought for on the hunt for something better. One of Benson’s goons, justifying his crimes, says, “I was a hero. What did it ever get me?” Patterson brings those same feelings with him to Soho, a moderate condemnation of veteran support. Spin a Dark Web is more interested in tension and thrills though.

… the standout is Faith Domergue… ruthlessly aggressive in taking charge

While primarily male driven, the standout is Faith Domergue, bouncing between Patterson and Benson, ruthlessly aggressive in taking charge. She’s the true villain – the brains – guiding and dictating mafia plots while remaining utterly calm. Numerous scenes show Domergue sitting and quietly plotting, not out of the scene, but silently taking it over. By the finale, she’s deadly.

In the opening, Spin a Dark Web holds a rogue feel. Handheld camera work mingles in race track crowds and with people looking at the camera, these shots were not set-ups. That helps carry the meandering material; static cinematography then holds back the second act. Then high-tech phone tinkering isn’t exciting and ponderous exposition sets up the scheme.

Patterson comes to his senses by the finale, a pleasing, energetic chase sequence that begins with a break in ethics. Witnessing a murder returns Patterson to his combat experience, revolted when he realizes the reality of being wrapped up in this underworld; his naivety finally has a price. It’s somber partly because of the murder, but also that sense of Patterson finding something or somewhere he belongs – and then it nearly destroys him. The same went for wartime and his stint as a foot soldier. Spin a Dark Web nearly lands the sense of loss post-war, but steers away for cheaper, B-tier filler.


The middle film on disc three of Mill Creek’s Noir Archive 2, compression runs this print ragged. Grain clumps together, desperate for a little more breathing room to appear film-like. That doesn’t happen.

This impacts gray scale, delivering banding instead of smooth gradients. Spin a Dark Web appears coarse and rough, even as the source barely suffers a scratch. Black levels perform to par though, and some intense light (especially early) brings out contrast.

Moderate resolution discovers fine detail, sadly covered too often by artifacts. Facial texture sprouts in a few shots and quick images of Soho look pulled from stock footage. There’s enough to feel the rundown aesthetic though.


Just before the final chase, the score rises to a peak, exposing weakened fidelity in the treble. Muddy lows weakly counter. Mill Creek’s DTS-HD track keeps up with an otherwise precise analog offering in the mids.

Aside from an obvious case of dubbing for one detective, dialog maintains clarity, consistency, and integrity.



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Spin a Dark Web
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A morality play involving a returning soldier, Spin a Dark Web has a fantastic performance from Faith Domergue but meandering story.

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