A New Miles Morales Spider-Verse Film Was Just Released, And It’s Scary Perfect

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story review

After the amazing cliffhanger ending of Across the Spider-Verse, fans wanted to see the follow-up ASAP. However, factors such as the writers’ strike and actors’ strike delayed that movie, and it may be as late as 2025 or beyond before we see Miles Morales back on the big screen.

That’s bad news for fans, but we have some good news: Sony just released a spooky new Spider-Verse short that you can watch right now. It’s called The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, and while I won’t spoil our final review score just yet, suffice it to say this short is an amazing Spider-Verse film in its own right while raising money and awareness for an important cause.

What is this new Spider-Verse short about, exactly? Titled The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, this brief tale showcases Miles Morales struggling with something he can’t just use the patented shoulder touch on: his mental health. Burnt out and exhausted from his constant battles, he must deal with increasingly terrifying visions of attacking foes and creatures even as his dad tries to cajole him into an evening of watching (what else?) horror movies.

If you’re hoping for this short to continue any of the stories from Across the Spider-Verse, I’m sorry to say that it does not. We’ll still need to wait a year or more to see how this big-screen trilogy comes to an end. Fortunately, though, The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story is very true to the characters and setting: while the short is deliberately very spooky, it includes Miles Morales’ trademark humor (I particularly enjoyed his incredulity over actually renting films) and his touching relationship with his father.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse review
Miles Morales confronts his fear in The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse

Speaking of touching, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story short was released in the name of a very special cause. Sony teamed up with the Kevin Love Fund to make this short, and this organization is integrating this short into a lesson plan intended to help students “tell their own story through the lens of mental health awareness via an interactive curriculum including a creative storyboard activity.” Whether you’re something of an educator yourself or just want to see what the fuss is about, you can access that free lesson plan right here, and generous patrons can also make a donation while they’re there.

So, his Spider-Verse short has good intentions, but here’s where the webbing meets the road: is it actually a good story? The answer is a resounding yes: this short has all of the killer animation and spectacular voice work you have come to expect from films along with great voice acting.

Miles Morales
Miles Morales in The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse

Even if you don’t like the slight preachiness of the cause, it also makes perfect sense that Spider-Man would struggle with mental health: Miles certainly has a better support system than Peter Parker, but he is still a teenager who has to regularly worry about everything from the safety of his family to saving the entire universe.

Maybe it’s just because I’m so happy to see Miles Morales onscreen again, and maybe it’s because of the ironic fact that  Beyond the Spider-Verse was originally supposed to release yesterday, but The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story a perfect short film. It effortlessly tells another great Spider-Man tale while bending genres and giving us a horror story unlike anything we’ve seen Miles face before.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse review
Scene from The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse

I’m wrapping this article up now for the best possible reason: I need to watch The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story a few more times until I’ve memorized each detail just like Miles has memorized the immensely hummable song “Sunflower.”

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story REVIEW SCORE

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