What is Darkenfloxx in Spiderhead (is it a real drug?)

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Attention! SPOILERS for the movie “Spider’s Head” (2022).

The Netflix sci-fi thriller “Spider’s Head” tells about a nightmarish psychoactive drug called Darkenfloxx, which makes viewers wonder if this substance is real. “Spider’s Head” is the first film adaptation of the work of the famous writer George Saunders. Netflix’s sci-fi thriller, the Spider’s Head story follows Chris Hemsworth’s charismatic but shady pharmacist researcher who tests psychotropic drugs on inmates at the named facility.

After director Joseph Kosinski’s latest film, “The Best Shooter: Maverick,” (wisely) ignores real politics, the Spider’s Head’s sharp satire on the pharmaceutical industry and the prison-industrial complex is a refreshing change of pace for the protagonist. The spider’s head is mainly shown through the point of view of Jeff Miles Teller, a prisoner who regularly receives injections of emotion-altering substances, doses of which are controlled by Steve. The most hated of these substances, Darkenfloxx, causes the user a strong fear, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of doom.

The drugs featured in Spiderhead, including Darkenfloxx, are fictional. However, the effects they have on prisoners have precedents in real drugs, both illegal and pharmaceutical. However, the effects of real drugs vary much more than the reliable results obtained from Steve’s emotion-altering decoctions, such as Darkenfloxx. In the sci-fi satire Spiderhead, Darkenflox constantly causes the same reaction, regardless of who takes the drug and when. In reality, psychedelic drugs such as phencyclidine, DMT, bath salts, psilocybin and LSD can cause unpleasant hallucinations, while amphetamines, ketamine and cocaine can cause anxiety and imaginary distress, but the conditions of use are crucial for the experiences they will receive. with a drug.

Someone who unintentionally received a strong dose of psychedelics without his prior notice (especially the infamous intense PCP) may well have the same side reaction that Darkenfloxx causes in Spiderhead, but the same person could feel inspired or enlightened from the same dose if the drug was consumed in a comfortable environment among reliable friends. Similarly, amphetamines can cause discomfort and paranoia similar to the effects of Darkenfloxx, but this is likely to be more severe in users who expect an unpleasant, scary or disturbing experience with the drug. Ultimately, however, it is another Spiderhead B-6 drug that gives the clearest idea of why it is so difficult to find a real analogue of Darkenfloxx.

In the ending of “Spider’s Head”, it turns out that Steve was trying to produce B-6, a drug that promotes obedience, just as Darkenfloxx causes anxiety and discomfort, Daffodil promotes fun, and Luvactin promotes lust and romantic attraction. The B-6 experiment ultimately fails because the brain is a uniquely unpredictable organ that does not follow clear rules. This reflects the reality that a number of medications can cause the effects of Darkenflox, but can also cause feelings of bliss, comfort and euphoria depending on the user and his circumstances. Human beings and their brains are not as malleable as the fictional Darkenfloxx from Spiderhead suggests, which is confirmed by the film’s finale and the discrepancy between the experience of drug use in real life.