"Paper Spiders" tells a bittersweet coming of age story in the shadow of mental illness. Recently-widowed Dawn (Lili Taylor) experiences growing anxiety as her daughter Melanie (Stefania LaVie Owen) plans to move away for college. An altercation with a hostile new neighbor aggravates Dawn's condition and she begins to show signs of paranoid delusions. Melanie attempts a series of interventions to help her mom, but Dawn's paranoia spirals out of control. Challenging Dawn's reality of persecution threatens to destroy their loving relationship. Melanie is forced to make the toughest of choices as she struggles to keep her mother afloat.