Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Spiral: From the Book of Saw ★★★

You wanna play games, motherfucker? Alright, I'll play!

This isn't the worst Saw movie, but it definitely feels the least like a Saw movie of any of them.

Every Saw movie has followed a fairly consistent A and B plot structure, alternating between the trap plot and the cop plot. This one, while it features traps, does not feature any kind of trap plot, instead focusing exclusively on the cops. Who occasionally end up in traps, because this time, it's exclusively cops who are being targeted by the new Jigsaw copycat.

You would think deviating from such an established formula would make it feel fresher, but instead it sort of has the opposite effect. Watching both Jigsaw and Spiral has really made me appreciate how much the main Saw franchise deviates (for better or worse, depending on taste) from the typical grammar of mainstream Hollywood. There's a grungy messiness to them, from the sets to the editing, that create a unique aesthetic.

For better or worse, this feels like a traditional police procedural that happens to be set in the Saw continuity, and, despite being helmed by the director of 3 of the original entries, doesn't entirely possess its DNA. It is, in essence, the most Hollywood take on the franchise yet.

Still, it's not awful. For what it is, it's moderately entertaining, and there were some decent traps, even if mainstream Hollywood feels a little shyer around gore than it did in the mid- to late-00s.

The plot twist ended up being extremely obvious, due to a glaring omission in a certain scene (if you've seen it, you know what I mean).

Apparently they've already made plans for Saw X, so we'll see where the franchise goes from here. I'm a little worried though; I didn't mind so much the attempts at political commentary on police corruption here, but making that the sole and primary motive of the new Jigsaw, as opposed to the more open-ended "appreciate life", seems like it could end up heavily restricting what they can do going forward, since there can really only be one kind of victim, and only one kind of Point.

EDIT: Also, who the fuck decided on that stupid voice for the Jigsaw recordings. Literally the least threatening voice imaginable.

Horror/Thriller - 7/10

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