Spider Thieves

(Niñas araña)
Guillermo Helo | Drama, Fiction, Adventure, Thriller

2016 | 94 minutes | Chile

Inspired by actual events, the teenage thriller Spider Thieves is a unique social commentary on dreams, class, and unfulfilled expectations in contemporary Chile.


Inspired by actual events, this teenage thriller is a unique social commentary on dreams, class, and unfulfilled expectations in contemporary Chile.

Three teenage girls from a Santiago shanty town set in motion a plan to climb buildings and plunder expensive apartments. All they want is to have all the cool and trendy stuff they see advertised in TV commercials and department stores. Word spreads and soon enough they became the notorious “spider thieves.”


"Director Guillermo Helo does a masterful job of using the scenes to build his characters. The screenplay invokes countless emotion from the viewer, prompting one to ask what they would do in a similar situation. What appears to be a simple story of "haves and have nots" is actually a tale of young women battling identity, social status, and shame. The girls learn that even though they lust to walk in someone else's shoes, they will not always fit. This film will be a powerful addition to any academic library, especially one with a focus on sociology, global economy, and women's studies. In addition, the film would benefit a younger audience in high schools alongside the general population." — EMRO

"The film is not only an overwhelming critic of Chilean society (the abysmal difference between rich and poor, consumerism, economic success and fame as synonym of wholeness), but it also humanizes the drama of three girls that are looking to fill emotional voids with the adrenaline of, at list for a moment, living comfortably in an apartment where you can actually see the horizon from the terrace." — Jennifer Bassaletti, El Otro Cine

"The film succeeds at showing the inequality that is lived in Chile. The contradictions of a privileged world, how unattainable it is for some people, and the situations that bring these girls to perform the robberies, seem to have the coherence of real life… Niñas Araña is an interesting and dynamic story." — Iñaki Velásquez, Galaxia Up

Main credits

Juan-Oliver, Guillermo Helo (film director)
Juan-Oliver, Guillermo Helo (screenwriter)
Juan-Oliver, Guillermo Helo (film producer)
Mella, Michelle (actor)
Orellana, Javiera (actor)
Silva, Dominique (actor)
Aguayo, Daniela (screenwriter)
Rodriguez, Ticoy (screenwriter)

Other credits

Cinematography, Mauro Veloso; editor, Javier Estévez, Juan Carlos Macías; music, Angelo Pierattini.

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Viña del Mar Film Festival - Best Project, Industry Section
Ventana Sur - Winner Habanero & Sin Sistema Work-in-Progress Awards
AFI Latin American Film Festival
Huelva Film Festival
Santander International Film Festival
Pantalla Latina: St. Gallen Latin American Film Festival

DIRECTOR: Guillermo Helo


YEAR: 2016

GENRE: Drama, Fiction, Adventure, Thriller


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adults



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