Nine films in, one could very well ask themselves “what’s left to uncover?” From the 2004 James Wan-helmed Saw, all the way to 2017’s Jigsaw, the franchise focusing on moral lessons taught via a pound of flesh has seen enough twists and turns to make your head spin and through it all, became one of the most consistently entertaining franchises around.
After a four year absence from the horror spotlight, this year’s Spiral: From the Book of Saw is now here on VOD/DVD/Bluray/4K (losing track of how many formats there are now) and its safe to say that the Darren Lynn Bousman-directed sequel (Bousman’s first Saw film since helming the second through fourth films) is not only a return to form of sorts, but a film that shows how much of a breath of fresh air the series needed (and is receiving).
THE FILM (6/10)
Spiral is an interesting one, in the sense that it allows its viewer to conjure up the excitement they felt each year, back when a new Saw film would hit theaters ever fall season. It’s familiar enough to fit within those exciting times, but with a great new approach and take that feels like the series is finally beginning a brand new dose of world building, one where many stories can live within the world and story that John Kramer had set up for an entire series prior. Spiral takes Chris Rock’s Zeke character, a detective forever living in the shadow of his father (a great if somewhat underused Samuel L. Jackson), while trying to solve a series of brutally vicious murders that call back to the days of Jigsaw and his traps.
Partnered with the feisty Schenk (Max Minghella), Zeke begins to uncover a mystery that gives us as viewer a fair share of not only red herrings, but some timely statements not only about police corruption, but the desire to punish.
There’s something special about Spiral, something that allows for an endless amount of possibilities. It leaves you guessing till the very end and when that ending does arrive, you’re left wanting more and more, akin to the days in which Charlie Clouser’s scores would leave us hyped and ready for another story in a year. If Spiral kicks that trend off again, the it’s even better, leaving. us with blood soaked lips, salivating for more.
SPECIAL FEATURES (9/10):
As far as supplemental material, there are a decent amount of goodies to keep the most diehard Saw fan happy. A commentary featuring Bousman, writer Josh Stolberg and composer Clouser, a separate commentary from two of the film’s producers, and a short look at the film’s are standouts.
The real star of this release though, is the exceptional The Consequences of Your Actions: Creating Spiral doc, an hour long look at the Saw franchise and what led to Spiral, giving viewers both new and old a glimpse at the journey of all things Saw, culminating in Bousman returning to the fold and Rock being instrumental in bringing fans more Saw greatness. The doc really is something to behold, showing everything that went into bringing a new take on a franchise so many adore.