"Spiral" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Years after James Wan broke onto the scene with his torture film "Saw", Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson star in a reboot that shows a fresh, modern take on the classic series. "Spiral", which follows Chris Rock's character Detective Zeke Banks, focuses on the police station trying to bring down this copycat Jigsaw killer who is taking out different police officers one by one.
This film is brilliant, as it gives a totally new take that we've never seen before in the Saw franchise. It doesn't feel like a typical Saw film, which is good as the old formula for these films were getting worn out. This film is more in touch with modern society, with plot elements that are present in the world today.
This is perhaps one of the least goriest Saw films. This film doesn't rely on the gruesome murders to further the plot or get a reaction out of the audience, like the predecessors to this film. The murders are hard to watch, and makes you extremely uncomfortable.
One thing I do applaud the film on is making the deaths more realistic, which is more unsettling to the average viewer. Towards the end of the previous franchise, there was no expense on the gore or disturbing graphic images. However, it felt more fake than anything, especially turning the color of the blood to a more pinkish color. Consider the scene where the police captain (Marisol Nichols) has hot tar poured on her face. The only way to escape was to stab herself in the back of the neck, permanently damaging her spinal cord. I had a sense of claustrophobia wash over me when watching this film, and I myself felt trapped in my theater seat watching this scene.
One complaint I have with this film is the lack of screen time for Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the former police chief and Zeke's father. The promos for this film made it seem like he will be in the film quite a bit, but is only in for brief sections of the film. However, the scenes he were in were excellent, and you felt the passion behind the character's actions.
In traditional Saw fashion, the movie does end with a shocking twist ending. Granted, I had guessed who the killer was halfway through the film, but it was still satisfying to see the reveal at the end. However, I had not guessed how the film was going to end, which I thought was a really satisfying twist. Now, we just have to wait to see the resolution of the ending in the sequel to "Spiral", which I hope comes out soon.