One of the standout sequences of the summer of 2019 was found in Spider -Man: Far From Home (Jon Watts). The sequence in question is the Berlin Hallucination sequence. It both captivates with strong comic book inspired visuals and an alternative to an action sequence while also highlighting Peter’s internal struggles, taking Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to his lowest point, adding up one memorable scene.
To sum up the movie up to this sequence, after the events of Avengers: Endgame (Anthony and Joe Russo, 2019), Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man goes on a European vacation with his class as a way to get his mind off of Spider-Man and the recently deceased Tony Stark as well as profess his feelings toward MJ (Zendaya). However, avatars of nature called the Elementals begin to attack Europe, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits Spider-Man along with Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhal) to fight them off. However, it is revealed that the Elementals are an illusion created by Beck in order to con Spider-Man into giving him a pair of glasses that control a drone based defense grid that Tony trusted to Peter after his death. With the glasses, he can program the drones to create his illusions and become the world’s greatest superhero.
The use of horror is also worth noting in this sequence. The way every location is draped in green mist, contains minimal set design and tons of black space allows for a haunting and tense atmosphere. It puts you in Spider-Man’s place, not sure of what will come next and at the mercy of Mysterio. It also allows for a tonal difference that Marvel Cinematic Universes. While the MCU can blend the superhero genre with other genres (sci fi, fantasy, spy thriller, etc), horror is an element not often explored in this series. The image of Iron Man rising from a grave feels iconic and quintessential horror imagery, calling to mind a zombie rising from the grave. Even the image of Spider-Man in front of a grave is a classic Spider-Man image due to his feelings of guilt and the continual loss he feels in his life, which makes the horror twist all the more effective.
The imagery calls to mind Mysterio and Spider-Man’s battles from the original comic pages. While none of it is a one for one adaptation of any of Mysterio’s illusions from the comics, they are in the spirit of the comics. The shot where Spider-Man is caught in a snow globe that turns out to be a giant Mysterio helmet looks like it should be a cover for The Amazing Spider-Man comic (Matter).
Matter, Brittany. “9 Times Mysterio Messed With Spider-Man.” Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, 24 July 2019, www.marvel.com/articles/comics/9-times-mysterio-messed-with-spider-man.