(AFTER ALL, THEY SAY THE BOOK IS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE)
One of the most common phrases that I hear when I tell folks that I am a horror enthusiast is “I don’t mind horror but I can’t watch Saw.” If the Saw movies were a spice they would be one with a polarizing reputation like a ghost pepper. Spiral is self-aware of its own harsh nature and adds a cream of the crop cast to sweeten the deal with the Ghost Pepper Aioli of the series.
Personally, I like Saw. I find its grimey aesthetic appealing. I find myself enthralled with the intelligence and charisma of the villains in these movies as they justify their motives to their victims and adversaries. I enjoy the over-the-top gore entertaining and am impressed with how it pushes the boundaries of mainstream horror. I wouldn’t say that these are my favorite horror flicks or a good place to start a conversation about the genre, but I respect the work.
It’s always refreshing to see actors in roles that they are personally excited about. Chris Rock really went out of his way for Spiral at the film’s conception as he personally pitched it to Lion’s Gate. Rock offers an element of dark comedy that compliments the story’s grim subject matter. We are introduced to his character as he delivers a hilarious antidote about Forrest Gump that would fit perfectly in his next Netflix standup special. The Chemistry between Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, who plays his father, is incredible and left me wanting more.
Don’t worry, it’s not all fun and games here. The comedic elements in Spiral are actually pretty subtle and strategically placed. There is plenty of downright serious dialogue, mystique, and conflict in this story. The whole thing is actually a bit jolting and moves really quickly like an episode of Ozark or Breaking Bad.
Spiral is an espresso-driven cop story that takes place in the Saw universe. As someone who isn’t very invested in that universe, I found it to be one of the more enjoyable installments. Even though the film is crafted by Darren Lynn, the same director that made Saw 2, 3, and 4, this picture offers a new vision that is less scary but just as exciting as the rest of the films.
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, while sometimes playfully singing and/or rapping, he juxtaposes his style with real-life situations and subject matter. With six full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released.