Movie Review: ‘Spiral’ Is An Odd Mix Of Torture And Social Justice

The ‘Saw’ series is certainly not one that ranks positively in my mind. The original was an interesting idea for a horror movie, but it has pretty much been garbage ever since for me. I don’t know if it’s the mindless torture porn of the whole thing or if it’s all the plot holes, but I have generally not been a fan. So, it truly took the lure of Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson to get me into the theater.

After seeing the story that brought these talented actors to the project, I kind of get it. The plot this time around is all about a Jigsaw copycat who is taking out crooked cops for perpetuating the killing of civilians. Then you have a cop who has a bad reputation for turning bad cops in and have the foundation for the story. Which is clearly something Rock and Jackson care about personally. There is also no doubt that it’s an important thing for any movie to deal with. However, the optics of showing cops having their tongues and fingers ripped out as payback for these acts is a pretty poor message.

Still, you can just view the movie as another ‘Saw’ copycat horror sequel and in that vain it fairs a little better. Chris Rock is certainly a more entertaining lead than any of the previous actors to helm these movies. He brings some humor and bluster that is fun to watch. And it’s cool to see Jackson plays his dad. Sadly, other than a decent turn by Max Minghella, these two are surrounded by mostly terrible performances and dialogue.

For all the ‘Saw’ fans that want to know whether or not the torture scenes are just as overtly explicit as previous entries, I can confirm you are in for a good time. I personally found these scenes to be cringe inducing, but they weren’t made for me. They were made for people who like watching tongues get pulled from heads and that’s not me. Personally, I could go the rest of my life without ever watching this movie again. However, if they made a sequel, I might give it a chance.

Nathan Ligon

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