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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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“Spiral,” a gory film dedicated to scaring viewers

The+latest+addition+to+the+American+horror+film+Saw%2C+franchise+became+available+to+view+in+theaters+on+May+13.+%26%23160%3B
via imdb.com

The latest addition to the American horror film “Saw,” franchise became available to view in theaters on May 13.  

In the recently released “Spiral,” directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Chris Rock, playing detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks, and Max Minghella, playing detective William Schenk, make quite the duo. The film follows Banks and his new partner for their search of a prolific killer that is eerily reminiscent of Jigsaw, who tortured people through twisted games in the city’s past. “Spiral” is the ninth film in the Saw franchise, which was created by filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell. This sadistic horror film was released on May 13 and is available to stream on Amazon Prime. 

Since “Spiral” is the ninth film in the franchise, the film builds on a previously established storyline, but it can be just as interesting, if not more so, having not seen the rest of the films. Some of the scenes might come across as more surprising when compared to a standalone film. 

The film received its R rating due to the horrible gruesome acts that are shown on-screen throughout the film. There is no shortage of gore. The “tests” each of the characters endure are painful to watch and are not for those with a sensitive stomach. Peaking through one’s hands while covering their face in horror is an appropriate reaction to the film’s incredibly violent acts. That being said, the makeup team and supporting crew that made these scenes come to life did so well that the visuals are overwhelmingly realistic. 

The theme of corruption runs deep in the Saw franchise, and “Spiral” is no different. Unsteady movements of the camera emphasize the dramatic emotions present, adding to the extreme intensity and hectic scenarios. Paired with the intense action, the suspense is fantastic. Half of the scare in the film is the suspense and the filmmakers cleverly placed this throughout the storyline. It is a shame that the masked voice introduced as the killer is not as intimidating or creepy as his crimes and appearance. 

Rock gives a fantastic performance throughout the film by finding a balance between humor and seriousness in a film that is overwhelmed with unfortunate situations, making a great addition to the film. On the other hand, Rock was able to harness his emotions and present them to viewers as if he were actually in those situations himself. 

Another iconic actor that is no stranger to the big screen is Samuel L. Jackson. Playing as Marcus Banks, father of Zeke Banks, Jackson has phenomenal chemistry with Rock in their scenes together. There is a specific scene in which Jackson is introduced and the dialogue between the two brings a much needed laugh. The comedic breaks are much needed to balance out the horror. 

“Spiral” definitely incorporated the essence of fear in the storyline, but it lacked when it came to mind games like the other Saw films. The killer’s catchphrase is “Do you want to play a game?” but the games presented throughout the film were clearly physical and not emotional, but had the potential to be. When it comes to watching the film, there were several “awe-shocking” moments that catch the audience off-guard. 
The film could have a little more spice to it if the focus was shifted more towards the little details in the plot. Overall, “Spiral” was not a bad watch, in fact, the story was quite interesting. The open ending begs the question if the Saw franchise is looking to make more films in the future. 

 

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