‘Spiral’ movie review: ‘Saw’ reboot rapidly devolves into silliness

Chris Rock, looking for a change of scene by stepping into the horror genre, looks grim throughout while Samuel L. Jackson has his fun with the role as always

I am not very fond of horror movies and most definitely not that splatter fest sub-genre of torture porn. However, the chance of watching Samuel L. Jackson play Chris Rock’s father was too delicious an opportunity to pass up. The ninth instalment of the Saw franchise has series regulars including director Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed three other Saw movies, and Kevin Greutert, who edited and directed Saw movies, as executive producer with James Wan, Leigh Whannell and Chris Rock.

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The movie starts strongly with a policeman chasing a thief underground. The policeman is attacked by a man in a pig mask and wakes up to find himself in a hellish situation where he has to rip out his tongue to escape being run over by a subway train.


  • Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
  • Cast: Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Story line: Cops are being killed in a variety of grisly ways and it is up to a loose cannon detective to find the killer
  • Run time: 93 minutes

Detective Zeke (Chris Rock), the son of the former police chief, Marcus (Samuel L. Jackson) is disgusted by the corruption in the police department and marches to his own drum. When the police captain Angie Garza (Marisol Nichols) assigns a rookie cop, Schenk, (Max Minghella) to be Zeke’s partner in the investigation, he is properly annoyed. As more police are killed in a variety of inventive ways, Zeke realises this could be the work of a copycat of Jigsaw.

After the adrenalin rush at the start, Spiral rapidly devolves into silliness. The complex death traps with attendant props and cryptic clues make one wonder if serial killers are failed directors, novelists or crossword makers. The murders, while grisly, are slightly tedious.

Rock, looking for a change of scene by stepping into the horror genre, looks grim throughout while Jackson has his fun with the role. Minghella does what he can with Schenk, while Nichols (yes Hermione from Riverdale) tosses her hair about to show she means business as the police chief. Thankfully no eyes were gouged or animals harmed in Spiral and if Zeke reminds you of Jules and the path of the righteous man, well, now as good a time as any for some Royale with Cheese.

Spiral is currently streaming on Lionsgate Play


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