Spiral is the ninth chapter in the Book of Saw, and the first in the series not to star the Jigsaw Killer (played by Tobin Bell). Whilst there is no need to have any familiarity with the first eight films, knowledge of them gives you an insight into what lies ahead. After all, this time, a Jigsaw Copycat killer is on the loose…
The question is, how many deaths until his identity is uncovered, if at all?
Long-time comedian Chris Rock has on several occasions broadened his acting profile, with Spiral being his first time as lead role in a horror film. In his continual seeking out of roles in a diversity of genres, and with 27 Awards under his belt, he is for the most part effectual in this introductory performance. He plays lead detective, Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Banks.
He is the son of the renowned police chief Marcus Banks (Samuel L. Jackson), and is partnered with rookie Detective William Schenk, played by The Handmaid’s Tale Max Minghella. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousmann and co-written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger (the pair wrote 2017’s Jigsaw), Spiral is perhaps less gory than its predecessors. However, it does stand on its own with a full and intricate plot, and excellent character development.
The main characters’ backstories are slowly told throughout the film using flashbacks that relate to the scene, or, through the games the killer plays, revealing events of their past. Whilst this complexity of each character adds much depth, it also makes hard to feel a full emotion for their lives being lost, as you will soon learn.
There is no subtlety with this film, it starts with a sordid death and it continues from there, with nothing censored. Best watched with company and on the big screen with full surround sound, as this will give you the full experience that such a great and gory horror film offers.