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  • Writer's pictureOli Law

Spiral: From the Book of Saw ★★

Darren Lynn Bousman

Starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Morgan David Jones

The Godfather of mutilation and punishment returns in this horrific mess of a movie that feels like it was put through one of the many traps it advertised.

Ezekiel Banks (Chris Rock) is a detective who must prevent a copycat of the famous Jigsaw killer from kidnapping and killing members of his corrupt police department.

This film feels exactly like that copycat. Having seen the previous entries of the series - the only fresh ideas seem to be the initial premise and the traps.

I found a glint of potential in the idea of a corrupt police force being the targets of the killer. It’s possibly the only interesting thing this movie has going for it.

But if you’re the kind of sadistic fan of the originals that love body parts being ripped off and people screaming in agony - then this could very well be the film for you.

The traps are definitely stomach-churning to say the least. It helped me to savour my overpriced hotdog with regular intervals of bent cops being punished Jigsaw style.

It’s a shame to say the lead role feels entirely miscast. Chris Rock is just Chris Rock. His dialogue often feels like part of his early stand-up routines and his portrayal sometimes even counteracts the character he was written to be. I genuinely thought to myself, 'why would a police department hire 90s comedian Chris Rock?' before I realised he’s meant to be somebody else.

If you described the film as a loaded gun then the cast would be the clip filled with dummy rounds and one high-calibre bullet.

That high-calibre bullet is none other than Samuel L Jackson. The man elevates the movie in his limited screen time with enough charisma to make you forget the trauma you’re sitting through.

Spiral feels like a continuation of a story that didn’t need to be continued. Fans of the series may find enjoyment in the new trap ideas but that’s all it can offer.

I enjoyed this about as much as I enjoy a torture kink… I don't.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw available in cinemas now

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