Just when you thought the torture porn genre had taken its course, that Saw Franchise returns with Spiral, a film that continues the series’ tradition of poorly directed, miserable acting, and overall indolent horror. Adding Chris Rock doesn’t help, despite lots of blinking eyes.
I appreciate Gore as much as the next horror fan, but the gratuitous violence shown here, coupled with the sheer sloppiness of everything around him, makes for an extremely uncomfortable experience.
Spiral is one of those films that you can tell will be terrible in the opening moments of the film when director Darren Lynn Bousman returns to a half-hearted relevance after its making Saw IV Back in 2007, we were introduced to the same messy, amateurish camawork and directing style that the franchise is known for for some reason. The acting is bad from the start, and the opening murder is crude rather than clever.
If that’s not clear, as an anti-fan of the franchise, I was the only reason I agreed to look and review SpiralIn my opinion, there was the morbid curiosity to see what the funny Chris Rock could do in a serious role. I kind of forgot that I really don’t like Chris Rock as an actor.
Rock is damn bad here, although writing doesn’t help. He vacillates between stand-up comedy and serious, angry detective mode with narrowed eyes, and neither is particularly pleasant to look at. Rock spends most of his time screaming and being an asshole like he hasn’t even read the script but watched some bad cop shows for a week while riding the bus for inspiration.
But Spiral really isn’t Rock’s fault. It’s just a poor film with few, if any, redeeming properties. In the last act it turns on a bit, but by then it’s too little, too late. The killer’s reveal is a “so what”, although the film’s final moments deal a mild blow.
Unless you’re a die-hard person Saw Fan, and die-hard for some reason Saw There are fans, let’s get there Spiral Spiral down the drain and on.
Rating by Erik Samdahl, unless otherwise stated.