Content Warnings: human & animal death, torture, gore/blood, drugs, jumpscares, flashing lights/images, gun violence.
Featured image from IMDB (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10342730/)
Hitting the theatres mid-May, Bousman and Stolberg’s Spiral brought the ninth instalment of the Saw series. Starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Marisol Nichols, Spiral follows Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” (Rock) as he takes on a new series of murders inspired by the Jigsaw killer.
Despite not being the biggest fan of horror or gore, I found Spiral a thrilling film to sit through. Although there were scenes that had me closing my eyes for the majority of them, the plot was easy to follow, and the end twist left me wishing there was a sequel to watch directly afterwards. However, Spiral sat further into the thriller genre than it did the horror one: it didn’t leave much of an impression beyond the screen and it lacked the “scariness” one would expect from a 2021 horror film.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the Saw franchise will certainly influence your opinion of the film. Fans of the franchise have called Spiral a turn from Saw’s usual horror theme to a crime thriller, with old tropes and “bored” torture scenes. Coming from a long-time fan of the franchise, I found it an interesting change, though it did bring in some more recent cliches that come with the crime thriller genre. For this reason I did have more expectations for the film, but was not left completely unsatisfied. I would watch Spiral again, but more likely in an event that a sequel comes out, rather than picking it out for a rewatch on its own.
Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson were welcomed additions to the cast and the two actors played their parts incredibly well, though the emotional scenes were left a bit flat. An important part of the plot was how the Jigsaw killer seemed to have a personal vendetta against the main character, Zeke, but the reason, once revealed, proved to be a bit of a cliché. The identity of the killer was not completely unexpected, but the end scene left a surprising twist that will make for a great sequel.
Though it has only been starred at 5.9/10 on IMDB, Spiral is a film worth watching. It was easy to follow, it left room for a sequel, and it filled out some gore criteria that one would expect in a Saw film.
RATING: 3.5 / 5