Page-to-screen: 'Spiderhead' movie fails to portray George Saunders' classic story

George Saunders’ “Escape From Spiderhead” is the stuff of nightmares, or at least of mine: torture, mind control, 

lifelong regret. Published in the New Yorker in 2010 and collected in Saunders’ “Tenth of December” in 2013, 

the short story puts me in mind of art-house films by miserabilists like Gaspar Noé and Lars von Trier. 

But in greenlighting the adaptation, Hollywood had other ideas. Which is reasonable enough: 

Many of Saunders’ stories have unexploited potential for Hollywood studio films. Bard of conflicted white guys and 

dispenser of folksy wisdom, Saunders has made a career of old-fashioned morality tales green-screened 

with photogenically fantastical inventions. His stories are full of Everymen-turned-moral heroes — or moral failures, no less instructive.