Spiral: From The Book of Saw Review
Writers/Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Josh Stolberg & Pete Goldfinger
Starring: Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols & Samuel L. Jackson
Reviewed By: Dean Asquith
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 🏹
A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in SPIRAL, the terrifying new chapter from the book of SAW. Working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the centre of the killer’s morbid game.
The terrifying new chapter from the book of SAW?
Spiral tells the story of a detective (played by Chris Rock) from a precinct that doesn't care for him after he ‘ratted out’ on a fellow officer after witnessing his corruption. Yeah I was confused as to why this was the case also…I’m sure you can guess the reason, I won’t tell you though, I’ll let you find out from the movie. The chief is played by Marisol Nichols who plays the role very well. Marisol and Samuel L Jackson who plays Chris Rock’s on screen father are the stand out acting displays in the movie. Chris Rock in my opinion sounds very bored throughout, and just played a stereotypical cop. Aside from the final act in which he displayed great emotional range! The other cops are wooden and generic with nothing that puts them apart from other movie cops. I will touch on the scripting also as I find that this movie suffers from the overuse of the ‘F’ word, it is totally unnecessarily placed most of the time, it takes away from the scenes.
As the movie progresses, a jigsaw copycat enters the fray buy, you guessed it, sending a video to the detective. Instead of the deep raspy voice saying “I want to play a game”, we now have a slightly higher pitched and less raspy version, the pig mask is back and instead of the ventriloquist doll from the originals we now have a little puppet. Detective Banks is thrust into a game of cat and mouse as cops start to drop like flies.
The ‘games’ in this movie step up a gear, I quite enjoyed the new tasks that victims were required to carry out, they provided a bit more of a sadistic feel to the entire spree. I especially enjoyed the hot wax one… I’ll let you find out about it, I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun! The prop and makeup team have done an exceptional job of providing realism to the scenes and successfully made me wince. They certainly will make anyone squeamish turn away and possibly feel a bit queasy!
Ultimately the movie is at best a love letter to the original Saw movie with predictable jump scares and overuse of swear words. The games were gruesome and entertaining but this didn’t change the fact that this movie can’t really challenge the original few Saw movies in terms of quality and due to its close ties, doesn’t really hold up as a standalone movie.