Spiderhead fans react to the No. 1 Netflix movie no one saw coming

Chris Hemsworth in Spiderhead
(Image credit: Netflix)

These days, as streaming services are a dime a dozen and there’s more competition for eyeballs than ever before, you’d think that a movie featuring some of the hottest names in Hollywood would get a lot of attention before its release. That wasn’t the case with the new Netflix movie Spiderhead and fans are puzzled over the missed opportunity. 

If you haven’t heard of Spiderhead, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone. A quick look at some of the key players will give you a sense of why everyone’s talking about this new Netflix original movie. The cast includes Chris Hemsworth (Rush, Home and Away, Thor: Love and Thunder), Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country) and Miles Teller (Whiplash, Top Gun: Maverick). It was directed by Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinski and written by Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. 

You’d think that with all of that A-List firepower, Netflix would be shouting from the rooftops about their new movie, especially given the competition from Disney Plus and other streaming services clamoring for attention in the crowded streaming landscape. You’d think they’d be generating as much buzz as possible. 

Somehow Netflix remained fairly quiet about the movie until it dropped — although Spiderhead was featured during the recent Netflix Geeked Week. Even then, there wasn’t a ton of fanfare about the movie.

There are any number of reasons why Netflix didn’t aggressively market Spiderhead, chief of which could be the fact that the movie markets itself. Based on the short story “Escape from Spiderhead” by George Saunders, the movie’s cast is what really sells it. You don’t really need to know what it’s about to know that it is — probably, at least — worth a watch. 

The trailer is sleek and sexy, offering just enough detail to draw you in. Once you’re there, you’re good to go. Thus far it seems to live up to the hype of being the top movie on Netflix.

It’s more than likely that Netflix decided to take a quieter approach to marketing Spiderhead because it knew it would be a hit once people discovered it. A well-timed social media push from Hemsworth is all it needed to get the ball rolling. 

Here’s what viewers had to say about Spiderhead’s bizarre marketing campaign:

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Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.