SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF JIGSAW (2021)


Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written by: Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger
Cinematography: Jordan Oram
Editor: Dev Singh 

Cast: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Dan Petronijevic, Richard Zeppieri, Patrick McManus 

Working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran, brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks and his rookie partner take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.


This film feels like a script that was written to be a thriller and then was rewritten to throw in some horror elements and connect it to the saw movies. Which it barely does.

The film is predictable and while like previous saw films it seems to like to play around with time or reveal certain elements to the audience when it needs to explain certain things.

The twists don’t feel as shocking, truthfully they never even feel earned. 

Amazing that this film was filmed before last summer’s racial political upheaval surrounding the murder of George Floyd. As this film seems almost like a kind of giving the audience what it wants. In a tale of dirty cops being the victims. As only one non- cop is killed throughout.

The surprise is making an African American cop The leading character. Now this film is built around Chris Rock as the star. As he supposedly also helped come up with the story. His character seems to be the only truly innocent person throughout and the film comes off as cruel. As the film seems to want to keep punishing him.

The acting throughout the film is spotty and Chris rock as hard as he tries is miscast. At times he tries too hard and his delivery sounds more comedic or non believable in his inflections. Not trying to rain on anyone’s parade he is a talented person and one of my favorite stand-up’s but here in this role, he leaves a lot to be desired. 

Samuel L. Jackson plays a supporting role in the film, but his part is integral. It also feels like he is barely in the film. 

Also, the film looks cheap. Know that these films are usually limited in the budget and tend to stay small and in a few locations, but watching the film you can tell. As it keeps making itself obvious. Which hampers the enjoyment of it.

The special effects are still top touch and the film is gory. Maybe not trying as hard as the previous films. 

All of this is a shame as this film seems to be more aimed at African Americans and starring them with representation horror. Which Could definitely use more of, but this is not the right project. 

Grade: F

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