I honestly don’t know why I have felt the need to watch an eighth movie from the Saw franchise – Spiral: from the Book of Saw. My feelings of self-torture aren’t down to the movies being bad – quite the opposite, in fact. No, sadly my reluctance to watch any Saw movie is a little more embarrassing; it simply stems down to the sheer ruthlessness and ingenuity of the traps that the franchise is so famous for. It’s not that I’m overly squeamish (okay, maybe a little) but it’s the ways these traps are designed that has me watching from behind my eyes; each and every time.
However, this only serves to speak as a true testament to the unique brilliance that these movies bring to our beloved genre.
Unlikely Faces to Appear in Spiral: from the Book of Saw
I mentioned in my earlier preview that comedy legend Chris Rock and original badass Samuel L Jackson were to play lead roles in the latest Saw movie. I also distinctly remember feeling a little dubious about how these two legends would fit in to the blood-spattered and universe of the Saw series.
Well, it really does give me great pleasure to say that both characters slipped in to their roles as policemen seamlessly. Chris Rock played a blinding performance as the movie’s lead, Detective Zeke Banks; while the man himself, Samuel L. was an ideal fit to jump into the shoes of Zeke’s father, ex-cop Marcus Banks.
So, is Spiral: from the Book of Saw a Sequel?
Sadly, for some, the short answer is a resounding ‘no’. Director Darren Lynn Bousman told NME magazine; “Spiral is not a sequel, it’s not a remake, it is not a reimagining. It is a standalone movie that exists in the Saw universe”.
With that being said, there’s still mentions of the original Jigsaw Killer, John Kramer, makes an appearance; albeit merely in the form of a photograph. The movie does feel like a sequel, despite the director’s remarks.
Admittedly, none of the characters from the previous seven movies were in it; aside from that brief glimpse of a photo of Tobin Bell, of course. Maybe this is why it’s being called a standalone; despite the movie taking place in the exact same world with the same past events.
Spiral is True to the Franchise
Fans of the Saw films with rejoice when told that a lot of the trademark camerawork is back in Spiral; from the Book of Saw. The sped-up shots of the desperate victims trying to break free of their respective traps with that distinctive sound overlay are in abundance and the movie follows the same premise. It simply never gets old.
In true Saw form, the ending will leave your give you goosebumps as the movie unravels to its dramatic conclusion. Saw is famous and loved for their ability to keep you on your toes and guessing; you will be happy to know that nothing has changed on that front.
A Different Kind of Victim
While in earlier movies we have seen civilians being forced, creatively, to repent; Spiral: from the Book of Saw sees a vengeance on the less scrupulous characters of the Metropolitan Police Department. This gives the movie a fresh edge and allows for a deeper look into the darker side of policing; along with the devastating effect it can have on the innocent.
I had mixed feelings surrounding a new Saw movie, but I’m relieved to have finally been able to put all of those worries to rest. Spiral stands out from its predecessors with its fresh approach at the gore fest that we all had come to expect. If you haven’t seen this already and have a love of the movies, grab some popcorn and put it on; you will not be disappointed.