Spiral (or Spiral: From the Book of Saw) is finally set to hit theaters this upcoming Friday, May 14th, and the first social media reactions from critics who have seen the film are teasing a fantastic new entry into the series that many thought was put out to pasture.
After taking some hits with recent entries, it seems that going back to the drawing board and coming up with something fresh for this ninth entry into the franchise was the right call. Chris Rock gets a lot of credit for that, as the actor was the one who first approached Lionsgate with his idea to extend the franchise, which Lionsgate CEO Joe Drake said was “completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise”.
Rock stars as Detective Ezekiel Banks, whose investigation into a series of murders reminiscent of Jigsaw’s crimes leads him and his partner (Max Minghella) down a path they may regret. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars as police veteran Marcus Banks in the film, which is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger.
Awards Radar editor Joey Magidson was able to see one of the advanced screenings of the film, and he came out calling it “one of 2021’s best films so far”, tweeting that it’s “more than just an excellent horror movie, it may well be the best installment of the franchise yet. Intense in all the right ways, this version opts for for character building, tension, and even humor over just gore (though it doesn’t slouch there)”.
His praise was echoed by Brad Miska of Bloody Disgusting, who tweeted: “I really dug #Spiral: From the Book of Saw, the first of many sequels to actually have something to say. It was fucking bonkers to see Chris Rock & Samuel L. Jackson in a @Saw, especially one as gnarly as Spiral. It’s downright nasty & I found myself cringing several times over.”
Heather Wixson of Daily Dead News felt similar, tweeting, “I’ve been given the go-ahead to talk about #Spiral & as a #SAW nerd, it absolutely lives up to the legacy of the series & what I wanted out of a movie from the SAW-iverse. It’s a bold & bloody new direction & I’m so excited for y’all to see it later this week. It rules. Hard.”
SpiralSpace on Twitter (also known as @sawspace), described as “the definitive Saw resource” has also seen the film and given it their seal of approval, stating, “What a movie! Awesome traps & engaging story. Loved the ending! You guys have a hit on your hands! The acting & production was superb from all involved & Darren is a master of his craft. Everyone brought this to the next level… “
Things are certainly looking promising from this revitalization of the franchise, and you’ll be able to hear plenty more soon when we drop our review later this week. Also be on the lookout for our interview with Spiral director Darren Lynn Bousman coming very soon!