måndag 12 juli 2021

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw

I still remember one night in late February in 2005, when i was in Gothenburgh ( the greatest city of Sweden ). Me and a friend of mine have decided to see two films in cinema at the same night. The first film was Meet The Fockers, the sequel to Meet The Parents, that was showing after a pretty successfull theatre run. Entertaining sequel if you enjoyed Meet The Parents, and especially because of the wonderful cast of Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Barbrara Streisand, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. We were actually supposed to see another film instead, but since the tickets sold out, we decided to see Meet The Fockers instead. Later that night, after we had dinner at a chinese restaurant nearby, we were very excited to see if a horror film called Saw would be as good as some critics have said in their reviews. I have read some articles about a director known as James Wan, and a lot of people were saying that he might be the next big hope for horror films, through his film Saw, As we finally went back into the cinema that night, i did not expect to be taken by surprise. Saw turned out to be the best horror film i have seen in quite some time, and it was actually a lot more clever as well compared to a lot of horror films in Hollywood. Saw especially had one character that would become iconic, thanks to actor Tobin Bell as the character John Kramer. Tobin have managed to make this character unique, in his own tasteful way. The story is pretty simple, photograper Adam Stanheight ( played by actor Leigh Whannell ) awakens in a dilapidated bathtub, with his anchle chained to a pipe. Across the room is oncologist Dr. Lawrence Gordon ( played by actor Cary Elwes ) with a corpse of an apparent suicide victim between them holding a revolver and a microcasette recorder. Both men find a tape in their pockets, and each tape will instruct them how to play certain games. If they do it correctly, one of them will live, if not, both will die. The Jigsaw Killer, a serial killer seems to be behind these games. Saw is still one hell of a good horror film today, 17 years later. Director James Wan knew exactly how to construct this film, from start to finish. The sequels in the Saw franchise have delivered some fun moments, and after the release of Saw 3D in 2010, it seemed to be the end. But Jigsaw returned in 2017, in a film simply called Jigsaw. Had some fun scenes, but did not deliver as the earlier films. And here we are in 2021 with Spiral: From The Book Of Saw, a film that is supposed to be the next chapter in the Saw franchise. Since i am a big fan of the original film, is Spiral a step in the right direction for this franchise, or should this film have been cancelled from being made?

During the 4th of July parade, an off-duty cop Detective Marv Bozwick ( Dan Petronijevic ) chases a thief down a sewer drainage pipe. Attacked from behind by a figure wearing a pig mask, Bozwick wakes up in a trap down in an active subway tunnel. He listens to a recorded message of what he must do to survive. Bozwick tries to follow the rules, but is not able to make it in time, and is killed by a subway train. The next day, Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks ( Chris Rock ) is informed by police Captain Angie Garza ( Marisols Nichols ) that Zeke is getting a new partner called William Schneck (  Max Minghella ). Zeke and Schnek begin to investigate the death of Det. Bozwick. Banks realizes that the murder of Det. Bozwick seems to be similar to what deseased Jigsaw Killer used to do with his victims.

I might as well be honest and say right from the start, if you love the first film of the Saw franchise, i guarantee that you will not be pleased with Spiral. This is not the perfect sequel that some of you might have hoped for. And the biggest problem of all, is the voice of the copycat killer of Jigsaw. Imagine if you were in charge to pick out the best choice, for a similar vioce from legendary actor Tobin Bell ( who is the serial killer John Kramer in the Saw franchise ), would you not pick someone that sounds similar to him, so you know that each game will be creepy, thanks to his voice? In Spiral: From The Book Of Saw, they decided to pick a voice that sounds horrible, and you just don´t buy that this is supposed to be a serious serial killer. It is like they did not really care how the serial killer would sound like, and thought that the killer traps would do the job. But this is one of my issues with Spiral, even if the traps might be ok, you don´t make a Saw film without the creepy voice. Now to the positive details about Spiral. Chris Rock in the lead role as Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks, is actually not that bad in a different role, than we are used to see him do in comedies. I would not say that this is one of his better film roles, but i definetely could see him play a police detective in the future, in a complete different plot than in Spiral. I especially enjoy his dialogue scenes about relationships, it´s like he knows everything there is to know about how women behave in marriage, where have you been all my life? I would definetely hire him as my therapist, no doubt about that. Samuel L Jackson shows up for a while ( in a few scenes ), as Marcus Banks. I do think that Samuel give a performance that match well with his character, and i actually wished that he would have been a bigger part of this film. The traps are actually not that bad, considering i was prepared that they would not be interesting. They are of course nowhere good as the 3 first Saw films, but i can accept them at least. My main problem with Spiral, is that this does not feel like a solid Saw film, and more of an ordinary action horror film instead. And if you want to make a really good Saw film, you need to match the pieces from the previous films, and make them work together in a sequel. And that is something that this film does not do, take the source material serious enough. Director Darren Lynn Bousman directed Saw 2, Saw 3 and Saw 4, so you know he did a good job with those films. But in Spiral, it feels like he tried to do something different that quite can´t match the previous film. If you are a fan of the Saw franchise, i know you want to see this film anyway. But i will be honest and say, Spiral: From The Book Of Saw is a sequel that did not help the franchise go forward, but in the wrong direction instead.

Rating: DD

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