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Sunday Scaries: Why ‘Spiral’ Can Take ‘Saw’ to New Heights

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan not just of Spiral, but Saw in general. Awards Radar is kind of littered with Spiral content this week. We have our official rave review here, as well as interviews with director Darren Lynn Bousman (here) and cinematographer Jordan Oram (here). Today, however, with it being a Sunday Scaries piece and all, I want to get into the future of the Saw series below…

Lionsgate

Since this is a horror themed column, it’s good fortune that early on in its lifespan we have a strong genre effort to celebrate. As a reminder, this is some of what I said in my review of the horror flick:

The Saw franchise has long needed an injection of fresh blood. Even coming from someone who loves the horror films, the last installment, Jigsaw, was proof that things were at an inflection point. The movies were certainly enjoyable, but the initial idea and social commentary had been set aside for a more and more complex mythology. It was always going to take some sort of radical change to keep these flicks going, or else their time would have passed. Enter Chris Rock, who is a fellow fan, and yet was able to pitch a huge departure from what’s come before. The result is something that continues in the world of Saw, but isn’t really a reboot or a sequel. Truly, Spiral: From the Book of Saw (or Spiral, for short) is its own thing. Not only is that an exciting prospect for cinephiles, it results in an incredibly strong motion picture.

Spiral is not just good, it’s downright great. In fact, this is easily one of the best films of 2021, so far. It gives you what you want from this property, to be sure. There’s gore, inventive traps, and a strong twist, but it’s not limited to that. There’s character development, creativity, and a boldness of vision befitting an original work. Threading that needle couldn’t have been easy, but Rock and company were able to pull it off in gloriously bloody fashion.

The series is one I’ve long been a fan of, but not all installments are created equally. The original Saw (at least until now), has stood alone in terms of the franchise’s quality. Saw VI is next in line, followed by Saw II and Saw III. The others, to one degree or another, are either just for fans, guilty pleasures, or both. So, not only is Spiral easily the best sequel, it actually stands tall as the overall best outing yet.

Lionsgate

Today, I want to talk a bit about why this film is so exciting, especially in terms of what it means for the franchise. Remember, this is specifically called Spiral: From the Book of Saw, so there’s an implied meaning there. Truly, this isn’t a reboot or a sequel, but closer to a spin-off. The other eight Saw movies have happened. This is taking place in that world. It just is telling a different story, as well as doing so in a different way. That difference is a lot where the excitement lies.

Depending on the box office, there will probably be a Spiral 2. Rumors are already out there that another Saw is in development. Now, is that a Spiral sequel, a more specifically tenth Saw movie (which would sort of be Saw IX, as opposed to Saw X), or something totally different. The exciting part of it all is that all options can easily be on the table. With how rushed the conclusion to the initial story felt with Saw 3D, it’s hardly off the table to try and wrap up some of those loose ends. Kendall specifically mentioned a desire to see more of that in her Sunday Scaries piece last week. Plus, these worlds co-exist. So, that could happen instead of, or in addition to, more from this new side of the series.

Spiral makes this sort of conversation possible. The deeper story, the better acting, the strong cinematography, it all propels you to want to invest even more in what comes next. It could comfortably exist as a one-off, for sure, but it’s more than good enough to warrant further tales. Again, credit to Chris Rock for the initial idea that spurred this all on. Without him, the property may have collected dust. Or, we may have eventually seen something else more like Jigsaw, in that it would appeal to hardcore fans, but not broaden the base at all. Spiral is a perfect entranceway for those curious to give this a shot, but with minimal (or no) knowledge of what has come before.

Lionsgate

If you’ve seen Spiral: From the Book of Saw, be sure to let us know what you think. If you’ve got thoughts on where a Saw and/or Spiral sequel should go, drop us a comment as well. Plus, if you have any Sunday Scaries requests, we’re all ears. The Jigsaw Killer implores you to do so…

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries next weekend!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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