Spiral: From the Book of Saw – a murderously marvellous addition to the franchise

15th May 2021

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is released in cinemas nationwide from 17th May 2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Saw has a complicated legacy. What began as a morally provocative thriller with a captivating antagonist eventually gave way to gratuitous torture porn, completely absent of its mystery and thought-provoking origins. Eventually, The Spierig Brothers would attempt to reanimate the franchise with Jigsaw in 2017, but they ultimately repeated the same mistakes that condemned the previous series. It all but seemed that Saw had played its final game until Darren Lynn Bousman and Chris Rock entered the arena.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is immediately different to its predecessors due to three things: no Tobin Bell, no Billy the Puppet and no returning characters. These shackles imprisoned the Saw series, and finally, they have been removed. Bousman directed Saws II to IV and understands the box of tricks the series pulled from, and his ability to mix old and new is exactly what Saw needed to reinvigorate the franchise. Here Spiral: From the Book of Saw changes the look and feel of the Saw world while keeping the mythos alive. As usual, we’re treated to a fantastic opening scene, a bombastic set piece built around a brutally simplistic trap. This focus on simplicity and brutalism continues throughout as we journey into the Spiral killer’s nauseating world.

Equally impressive is the stunning cinematography of Jordan Oram as he treats us to a macabre feast for the eyes, from the blistering heat of sun-soaked scenes to the industrial grime and jaded beauty of factory hallways and warehouses. Meanwhile, Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger’s screenplay is truly gripping in its portrayal of the relationship between Zeke (Chris Rock) and the Spiral Killer. Both seek to eliminate institutional corruption within the police, it’s just that one uses tools the other one knows are horrific and vile. With the protagonist and antagonist, two sides of the same coin Spiral: From the Book of Saw delivers something genuinely unique.

Although some beats are a tad predictable, considering the odds stacked against him, Bousmann delivers something rare, a murderously marvellous return to form and a brutally beautiful reinvigoration of the franchise.


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