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spiral: from the book of saw

Movie Reviews

‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’ review: Playing the game

Game over.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw sees the well known horror franchise return after a short hiatus. The Saw franchise is one of the most impressive in terms of output. (Quantity not quality.) From 2004-2010 a new entry was released in the series. As is often the case with long running movie properties, the future editions are not as well received. Spiral is only the second movie since the initial seven year run.

The latest entry stars Chris Rock as Detective Ezekiel Banks. Someone copying Jigsaw is targeting police officers. Zeke is out to stop the cop killer but soon all the clues point close to home. Spiral will please fans of the wild killing machines the films are known for. The first kill sets the tone for the wacky and over the top contraptions to come. Predictably, they are appropriately gross and borderline hilarious. This has been something of an issue with the entire franchise for quite a while. The devices end up taking center stage and will either impress audiences or ruin their immersion.

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There is less torture horror than in previous installments. This is a good thing since it usually ends up being gratuitous and ends up taking away from any good the movie may have done. Spiral has a solid performance from Rock. The popular comedian is in almost every scene in the film and holds his own. Zeke only has two or three emotions, but Rock makes sure to get the most out of them.

Spiral may deal in the fantastic, but the central theme of police abusing their power is a topical one. The plot does not go too heavily into the issue. Still, it would be hard to call it a missed opportunity. Abuse of power may be the backdrop, but this is not a film that wants audiences to reexamine the world. It is a horror movie made to gross people out.

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