- Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella
- Written by
- Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger
- Directed by
- Darren Lynn Bousman
- Run Time
- 1h 33min
- Release Date
- May 14th, 2021
A good horror franchise is often like the killers that appear in them, very hard to kill. It has been four years since Jigsaw met his end in the appropriately titled Jigsaw and while you might have liked that it ended, everyone loves a good comeback. So begins another game and this time it all starts with a purse snatching at a celebration and a cop who was trying to catch the guy. The chase ends with the guy going down a sewer cover and the cop does what any good cop does and goes after him without calling for any backup. That decision proves a bad one, but the good news is the cop did end up catching a train that was on time
This is where we meet Det. Zeke Banks, a cop who is not well liked because he snitched on dirty cop who too long ago. Banks just got through doing a little undercover work that was not given to him and as punishment he is assigned a new guy named William Schenk (Max Minghella), who he gets to train. The best way to train is to get right into it and their first case is a guy who gets hit by a train, a case that takes a turn when he is sent a video and it has a certain feel to its delivery. Coming up with something that the eight other movies already covered sounds like it might be a difficult chore, but writers Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger had a pretty good idea. Instead of killing a bunch of randos, they have a purpose. Don’t worry you still get to see some tough choices made and of course some great death traps, I mean it wouldn’t be a Saw movie if you didn’t. I really think that has to be the challenge, but I guess if you have the right mind you can come up with some pretty clever ways to really punish a person. Stolberg and Goldfinger seem to be those guys and not only do they check the boxes there, they also happen to be movie fans and put some easter eggs in there for some of their actors. Back to the case on hand, Det. Banks seems to be the guy the killer wants to chase after him, both something that gets his dad Marcus (Samuel L. Jackson) out of retirement who just happens to have been the police chief.
For me you already have my money with the team up of Jackson and Rock and Rock really shines in this movie, as he reminds you that not only is he funny, but he is also a damn good actor. It’s this cast and the story that breathes new life in a franchise that felt like it had taken its last breath and quite frankly made me interested in this franchise again. It has everything you want in a good horror film, people making bad decisions, good killings, and those moments that make you want to turn your head a little. My only problem is the messy backstory that tries to give you a reason for everything via flashbacks, but instead weighs the film down some. Spiral though is not just a horror film, it also moonlights as a good detective story, kind of giving off a little Se7en vibe to it, as if it was a distant cousin. All of this works for me though and I am just glad there is enough interesting things in this series again, to the point I actually want to see where it goes from here.