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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Spiral (2021) – Review 2

Film Review: Spiral (2021) – Review 2

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A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.


Okay, so I wasn’t going to write a review for Spiral. I decided after walking out of the movie theater, and thinking, what the f*ck. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It felt nostalgic and I was a bit overwhelmed being a fan of the franchise. It was fascinating to see something new. The wild shots, the special effects and make-up, the intense brutality, the corruption. So, we masked up and went inside a movie theater. It was weird to be all spread apart and barely see any people. You get so used to hearing a group of people react to what is happening. It was almost eerie like watching a movie in a ghost town.

Let’s go through the movies and talk a little Jigsaw history.

Saw was released on October 29, 2004. It was directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell and James Wan.

Saw was different. It starred Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Dina Meyer, Shawnee Smith, and of course the incredible Tobin Bell as John Kramer/Jigsaw. Two men with no recollection are locked in a room, and they must “play a game” to get away. Over the years, Saw became a franchise.

Some people love all the films, some people have the ones they REALLY love. The psychological terror and the ways the elaborate traps were set for these people who in the end, are often connected some way and they have done something horrible.

Saw II was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, and written by Leigh Whannell and Darren Lynn Bousman. It starred Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith as our beloved Amanda, Donnie Wahlberg, Franky G, Glenn Plummer. We would learn a little more about Jigsaw/John and also about Amanda.

The traps got wilder and the needle pit was INSANE! Saw II was one of my favorites. We also learn that Jigsaw took on a protégé if you will. Jigsaw/John is smart and cunning. Saw II was brutal and critics just love to say “torture porn.” I don’t see it that way. Just listening to the line, “Oh yes, there will be blood” gives me goosebumps.

You may say, okay the movies can be over the top but it also taught a lot of people to be careful, be aware of surroundings. Saw III was released on October 27, 2006 and again, I saw it in theaters. It was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, and written by Leigh Whannell and James Wan. Leigh and James are good together with writing and directing.

Saw III, Tobin Bell returned as John Kramer/Jigsaw, Shawnee Smith, Dina Meyer, Angus Macfadyn, Donnie Wahlberg, J. LaRose, and more. The traps were different, the story was pretty wild and we learned that Jigsaw doesn’t mess around.

Saw IV was released on October 26, 2007. It was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman again. It was written by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, and Thomas Fenton. Saw IV has been a favorite. It starred Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, and Betsy Russell. By now, the infamous Jigsaw had a following and “I want to play a game” became a legendary quote.

I also came across my own mini-Jigsaw who wound up going everywhere I went. Also, the soundtrack and as soon as you hear the music, it’s chills, pure chills. You know he’s coming.

Saw V was released on October 24, 2008. It was directed by David Hackl, and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. Again, it starred Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, and more. Tobin Bell is beyond talented.

Saw VI was released on October 23, 2009. It was directed by Kevin Greutert, and written by Patrick Melton, and Marcus Dunstan. The cast includes Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston, Betsy Russell, Shawnee Smith, Peter Outerbridge.

We find out a lot. You also think about the value of life. You think about things, the small things in life. Saw: The Final Chapter was released on October 29, 2010. It was directed by Kevin Greutert, and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan.

On October 27, 2017, Jigsaw was released. It was directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig. It was written by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger. Bodies are just turning up and someone is playing a game. The traps are elaborate and even though some people didn’t like this one, I did.

I saw this one in theaters too. The first time I heard, “I want to play a game” again, I had goosebumps. John Kramer’s lesson of appreciating life was well known. “No, that’s not creepy at all.” Seeing Billy, the Puppet/Jigsaw rolling out on his tricycle was such an awesome moment.

NOW, Spiral, released in theaters on May 14, 2021. Spiral was directed again by Darren Lynn Bousman.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is not a reboot and it’s supposed to be a continuation of the Saw series. When you really think about Saw, there is a message. People do things everyday and they don’t always think about what is happening and how fortunate they are.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, and written by Josh “We love you and appreciate you” Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger.

Chris Rock does an excellent job playing a detective who has a bunch of wild shit to deal with. It’s everything from crooked cops, the messed-up system and how once again, people do not appreciate life. Chris Rock portrays Detective Zeke Banks, he’s on an undercover, unauthorized sting operation and his cover is blown.

His father is Marcus played by the always talented and incredible Samuel L. Jackson who brings life to the movie. The traps are wild. The “Jigsaw” killer changes too. Det. Zeke is a loner and his fellow officers are shitty to him and he gets a new partner, William Schenk played by Max Minghella.

There is corruption, chaos and everything in between. The crooked cops are meeting a horrible demise. Det. Zeke has to figure everything out. They do discuss the Jigsaw killer and if it’s a copycat. The killer is leaving spirals everywhere.

I don’t want to give away too much. I think you should see this movie. I put my mask on and walked in the theater which due to COVID-19 was not full. Also, it’s every other seat, unless sitting with friends/family. You have to keep the mask on at all times except to drink or eat. I wasn’t interested in anything but seeing the movie.

I’m thankful to @DownrightCreepy and @Atomtickets, we won some tickets and we will see it again. The ending was slightly surprising although after watching the movies so many times, I had a feeling and I kept saying to myself, noooo… Also, it was weird to be in a movie theater.

The cast did a great job. Ali Johnson, Dan Petronijevic, Morgan David Jones, Richard Zeppieri, Edie Inksetter, Christopher Tai, Genelle Williams, K.C. Collins and of course Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. The ending was wild. I was sitting and found myself inching closer to the edge of my seat. I was nervous and felt so much heart for Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson.

Also, the “torture porn” statements are tiring. If you don’t watch horror movies or you don’t like them you don’t have to watch them. No one is forcing anyone to watch anything. I don’t see these movies as “torture porn”. It feels like a lazy way for a critic or someone who hasn’t watched or liked horror movies.

I have so many friends who are horror fans and they are the most wonderful people you will ever meet in life. The horror community can be a tad fickle. Some don’t like remakes, some only like certain genres, some only like the 80’s movies. (There are tons of great seventies horror movies, just saying.)

I listened to my friends and some of the people around the theater and it was an eerie silence and an excitement. When the movie ended, I felt this uncomfortable but beautiful moment of Spiral: From the Book of Saw was a good movie. It felt nostalgic, all the Saw movies that I’ve seen in theaters over the years. All the people I’ve met that love the Saw franchise, talking to Tobin Bell and Darren Lynn Bousman in interviews and rambling on about loving the movies.

Thanks Darren Lynn Bousman, Josh Stolberg, and Pete Goldfinger for delivering and here’s hoping there may be another one.

I know this isn’t exactly a review but I do recommend the movie, safely of course. It was a different perspective. There was still that terrifying standard.

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