Horror fans, rejoice! The latest film in the slasher franchise Saw is almost here. Spiral: From the Book of Saw, the ninth installment in the franchise, follows police efforts to investigate a string of murders eerily reminiscent of Jigsaw’s work. Chris Rock plays one of those police officers, and rounding out the cast is Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, and Morgan David Jones. Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed three other Saw films, also directs Spiral.
Spiral: From The Book Of Saw releases in theaters this Friday, May 14, and critics have started to release their reviews. Let’s check out what they have to say.
Let’s start with the home team. Our very own Sean O’Connell saw the horror flick, and he rated it 2 out of 5 stars. Though he complemented the grotesque elements of the movie, he was overall pretty disappointed. O’Connell pointed out that Spiral could have totally reinvented the Saw franchise, but instead was too predictable and similar to the other films. He also noted that Chris Rock's character doesn’t suit the legendary comedian, and commented that Lionsgate could have tailored Zeke Bank’s character more to Rock’s strengths. O’Connell said:
Lovia Gyarkye of The Hollywood Reporter also praised the terrifying gore in Spiral: From The Book Of Saw, but was still somewhat disappointed with the movie. One aspect she criticized was the cliched aspect of Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson’s father/son storyline. She also pointed out that the themes in Spiral (“from the unreformable nature of the police department to the cost of integrity in a space that values power above all else”) are ever-so-prevalent in today’s society, but the film refuses to dive into any kind of a strong narrative. Gyarkye called the movie:
Owen Gleiberman of Variety also commented on how the storytelling of this slasher film-turned-police-corruption-thriller fails to fully confront the themes that are so relevant to the modern day. He said:
Katie Rife of AV Club had a bit more positive things to say about Spiral, as she complemented the nightmare-ish gore (that seems to be a common theme among these reviews!) and the acting chops of the lead cast, but she criticized Bousman’s direction. She noted that the inconsistencies and reliance on exposition really pile up. Rife said:
William Bibbiani of The Wrap complemented the cinematography by Jordan Oram, but contrary to several aforementioned reviews, was not impressed by the death traps in Spiral, noting that they don’t leave much impact. He also criticized inconsistencies and the predictability of the film, saying:
Will fans of the Saw franchise have similar criticisms as these critics about Spiral: From The Book Of Saw? We'll soon find out, as it releases in select theaters on May 14.
In the meantime, plan your next trip to the theater with our full 2021 movie release guide.
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