‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’ is the latest chapter of the Saw franchise and is not produced and starring Chris Rock as detective Zeke Banks, a controversial officer in his own department not only because of his father (played by Samuel L. Jackson) was the Seargent before him. But because he turned in a fellow officer who was guilty of killing a witness meant to testify against another officer.
Zeke hasn’t had a partner in a minute until a series of killings appearing to be by a copycat “Jigsaw” requires a new partner as they both investigate a horrible pattern of murdered Officers. Chris Rock takes the entire franchise and hefts it onto his shoulders to deliver maybe not a complete rejuvenation of the ‘Saw’ series, but a fairly watchable horror film with a not-so-subtle social message.
First, off the usual, you are still getting the usual ‘Saw’ type gore porn and intense horrifically violent traps, you get the similar delivery method of how this killer is communicating to their victims, and the victims are all in their own way ‘deserving’ in this killers justification of slaughter. This new killer wears a pig’s mask, and in most ways is similar to Jigsaw. The difference comes from the characters and their motivations.
The new direction the story takes is similar to what we’ve been seeing from directors like Jordan Peele, who injects social commentary into his horror films in a masterful and often unexpected way. ‘Spiral’ is not so subtle in its commentary, and once that aspect is introduced the film had an identity crisis, jumping between ‘Seven’, over to ‘Get Out’, and then back to ‘Saw’, and has a very tough time juggling them all in a comprehensible way.
Overall, there is good and bad in ‘Spiral’ the performances are all good, the gore and kills are entertaining to those who like that style of horror. In the end, I was surprised to be not as ready to close the book on this series, and that is enough for me to say it’s a positive in a very disastrous franchise.