The original SAW movie was released in 2004. It starred Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson, and Tobin Bell.
The movie was a huge success, grossing over $100 million at the worldwide box office.
At the time of release, the movie was a chilling new entry into the horror genre. It featured a unique and original story, with both sympathetic and terrifying characters.
The film spawned a franchise that would include eight more movies over 13 years, with the final instalment in the series hitting the big screen in 2017.
Fast forward to 2021, and the franchise is back with a spin-off movie that promises to be just as twisted and shocking as the original. But does Spiral: From the Book of Saw deliver?
IS SPIRAL A SEQUEL OR PREQUEL?
Spiral is its own movie and can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the franchise.
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale), who plays Captain Angie Garza, explained to NME how the franchise evolved, saying: “The Saw universe is famous for specifics like traps and Jigsaw and all of that amazing fun stuff. This is sort of the next chapter in that universe.”
While it's not necessary to have seen any of the previous Saw movies, it will help viewers appreciate some callbacks and Easter Eggs.
WHAT'S THE PLOT OF SPIRAL
On a 4th of July parade, Detective Marv Bozwick chases a thief to a disused subway station. Attacked from behind by a person wearing a pig mask, Bozwick awakens to find himself hanging from his tongue in an active subway tunnel and is given the option to tear out his tongue or be killed by the next train, which is hurtling down the track.
The detective struggles to free himself from the contraption and is decapitated by the train.
Captain Angie Garza assigns Detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) a new partner in the form of idealistic rookie William Schenk (Max Minghella) to investigate the death of Detective Bozwick.
Banks discovers the complex trap that killed Bozwick and realizes it was characteristic of the now-deceased Jigsaw Killer.
IS SPIRAL ANY GOOD?
Despite having a couple of big-name actors, such as Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, the movie has been panned by critics and fans of the original horror movie.
It's not difficult to see why – the story is convoluted, the acting is wooden, and the movie's overall tone is more comical than horror.
The acting is bad, with Chris Rock sleepwalking through his role. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast fares no better, with everyone seeming lost in the material. Even Samuel L. Jackson, who normally elevates whatever movie he’s in, can’t save this dud.
If you're a hardcore fan of the Saw franchise, you might enjoy Spiral for its nostalgic value. However, if you're new to the franchise, or horror movies in general, you might want to give this one a miss.