‘Spiral’ uses ‘Saw’ setup, stands alone

By Cassidy Reyna

Freeze—Detective Zeke and his partner Detective Schenk arrive at the scene after a clue leads them to a truck. They are shocked by what they find inside.

The new horror flick “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” has a refreshing take on the “Saw” franchise. The film itself doesn’t directly connect to any of the previous films aside from it being set in the same universe. 

“Spiral” follows Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks played by Chris Rock and his partner Detective William Schenk played by Max Minghella as a Saw copycat starts killing in the city. The two take the lead on the case and the killer begins to slowly kill his police force one by one.

The film is 100% a “Saw” movie.It has the gore that a “Saw” fan knows and loves, but with more of a “whodunit” feel. Unlike the original seven “Saw” movies, “Spiral” isn’t filled with gore but “garnished” with it. The gore is perfect because there isn’t too much or too little. 

The “Saw” series is known for the traps that the victims find themselves in where they are forced to “play a game” that has their life at stake. John Kramer, the original Jigsaw killer, placed them in these traps to teach them a lesson because they didn’t value their lives. But “Spiral’s” copycat killer is targeting police for other reasons.

The film keeps the fast shots of the traps and the victims struggling to get out. Fans who are “gore hounds” may not be too happy as the film follows a serious police plot line, as opposed to a victim typically dying a gruesome death or going through some sort of pain every five to ten minutes.

One of the weakest points of the film was the “anonymous” voice of the copycat killer. In the original seven films, the voice is done by John Kramer, the Jigsaw killer, however in the world of Saw, John is dead. 

Viewers may cringe at the off-putting voice, but what balances it out is the new pig puppet that is used as opposed to the puppet, Billy, that fans love.Prior to the fast shots of victims struggling, it is already revealed who is dead. This defeats the purpose for fans getting the feeling of wondering if the victim made it.

Chris Rock’s performance in the film is amazing, considering the role he played is serious, he does an amazing job. 

Prior to watching the film, viewers may have doubts about Rock’s performance as he is known for his comedic filmography. But similar to Adam Sandler in the film “Uncut Gems,” Rock excels when it comes to this role. With Chris Rock starring and being the executive producer of the film, there is a good amount of humor to balance out the intense scenes in the movie. 

There are other notable actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols and Max Minghella who also do an amazing job in the film.The film ends in the exact style of the film’s predecessors with the original theme song called “Hello Zepp” by Charlie Clouser, playing in the last five or so minutes of the movie.

“Spiral: From the Book of Saw” opens up doors to a possible sequel and adds to the lore of the Jigsaw killer, in the film series. Of course the film may not please all fans, however, it still does a great job of being a “Saw” movie despite its small numbers in the box office. 

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