Ian West’s review published on Letterboxd:
My fiancé and I have been knee deep in Saw movies and lore mythology convos with friends for a whole week... Hello Zepp has overtaken my home life as well as we can’t stop humming it every seven seconds at opportune times, so basically we were so ready for this... our First trip back to the theater was kinda the perfect storm?
First off, this is my kind of dumb swill and not elevated at all, this is an idiot movie and I am an idiot... plus I kinda loved Chris Rock here? He just goes for it and more or less carries this whole damn thing, but I’m also happy to report that Darren Lynn Bousman didn’t disappoint either... bringing his Saw specific craft back where it belongs complete with frenetic editing trap shots and some slickness that only comes from a decade plus of experience under your belt in the big show. He’s not the best director but he’s perfect for these movies.
Light on traps but I liked all of them, heavy on police procedural but I’m down with that, and the melodrama was there too... plus seeing one of these movies actually utilizing a copycat was an interesting vibe—a new chapter that could, and should, spawn sequels. I also gotta say that this was nowhere near as bad as I was led to believe and for me it fits in nicely with the other movies, it’s different enough but still retains all the ingredients, adding a fresh but familiar coat of paint to this franchise and I appreciate that. The twist wasn’t hard to figure out and probably ranks toward the bottom of the franchise for me but the events afterward, particularly the final moments, delivered the goods I wanted. We had a damn blast, plus for the first time since seeing The Final Chapter in 2010 I was fortunate enough to get goosebumps in a theater while hello zepp decimated the joint.
I needed this, it was like being 97 sheets to the wind and ready to piss yourself while sitting in a burger king parking lot at 2am and taking a giant slovenly bite out of a whopper and not caring about the jabroni’s and Karen’s in the car next to you laughing at you because ketchup, mustard, and a chunk of tomato just gushed out the sides of that delicious greasy slop chow and splooged all over your face. We’ve all been there... that inebriated bliss is give no fucks hour and nothing will get between you and that disgusting yet satisfying sludge beef.
That was me tonight with this movie and I kind love it for that. Spiral: From the Book of Saw was a solid gore porn thriller and a nice addition to one of the more consistent franchises out there. It’s dumb, it’s fun, and was exactly the getaway I needed after a year and a half hiatus from theaters.
Most of you will probably hate this but whatever, What a great night and the perfect cap to my very Saw-centric week!