Darren Lynn Bousman directs Chris Rock, Max Minghella and Samuel L. Jackson in this horror whodunnit where an honest detective must figure out which Jigsaw copycat is torturing his corrupt colleagues to death.
Chris Rock is a fantastic but continually under-utilised big screen presence. When he is turning crime scenes into unlikely stages to try out his stand-up monologues, Spiral is at its most watchable. He ain’t the best actor though. So when he’s called upon to portray fear, confusion and emotional pain… well… he gives about as convincing a thespian effort as anyone else in the seventh or eight entry of a cash cow horror franchise. I checked out on Saw as a series around 3 or 4. Whenever this attempt to try something new reverts back to old nasty habits I was bored. If this really was intended as a course correction or a new direction, then they really shouldn’t have rehired the hack who made the bulk of the sequels. When we aren’t wallowing in inevitable and inescapable torture porn there’s a relatively decent murder mystery to solve. By the big finale you still have two or three big red herrings in play before the killer steps out of the shadows. It does a better job of keeping us guessing than Knives Out. Competent but unambitious.
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/