Sunday, June 20

Spiral review – Chris Rock’s Saw reboot is deviously bad | Horror movies

TThe oppressive ugliness of the Saw franchise was, for an ever-shrinking fanbase, its USP: the dank ugliness of both its hard-to-digest gore and its worldview of descent into hell that gives the series a scent. distinctive. For those less committed, there was still something irresistibly wacky, and often genuinely surprising, about its serpentine plot, each film admirably committed to a complicated, if convoluted mythology, rather than a lazy repetition of the formula.

But it was hard for most to justify sticking with the movies to the bitter end of 3D, like hearing a story that goes on for too long told by someone you end up slowly regressing from, and while the 2017 soft reboot promised something new, it was predictably more than the same, another reminder that the Saws had seen better days. The torture porn subgenre it inspired, while a fascinating and eye-opening trend of the time, had become just as musty, so the concept of another chapter, so soon after, was unintentionally horrifying. The fact that Lionsgate has decided to suck us back into the Jigsaw universe once again is no surprise in itself given the death-defying nature of the genre as a whole (we’ll see more of the Halloween, Candyman, and Scream), but the twist here is that it’s actor-comedian Chris Rock pulling the strings, a super Saw fan taking on the role of lead star, producer, and uncredited script polisher.

His participation, along with co-star Samuel L Jackson, and an unusually elegant marketing campaign, would lead to believe that perhaps the pompously titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw might be more necessary than anticipated, a lofty attempt to drag the franchise down. to a new decade. But within minutes of the pandemic-delayed reboot, the window decor falls off to reveal no meat, all gristle, a waste of time, energy, and catastrophically poorly spawned fake blood that should hopefully bring the franchise back to its prime. grave where it deserves to rot.

The original film, an effectively insidious surprise, was of course influenced by and indebted to David Fincher’s Seven, a boost to the serial killer subgenre that brought it closer to horror, a baton that the creators of Saw took and ran without trying to. emulate directly. . Never has that film’s shadow loomed higher than over Spiral, an arrogant, bullish attempt to update the gore and gore series into a classy detective thriller, as if a burger-flipper was suddenly tasked with making a steak. wagyu. Rock plays the lead role, a grizzled cliché who doesn’t play by the rules (flag), has a tortured past (flag), a joke for every situation (flag), a failed marriage (flag), and the desire to work alone alone. (check). But after a fellow cop is found brutally murdered (a nasty but awkward cold opening involving a tongue and a train), he is paired up with a rookie (Max Minghella) to investigate a killer who is targeting those around him, modeling himself after the long run. Jigsaw dead.

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who was behind three of the previous Saws (including the second and third installments, which are quite entertaining), the film’s emo aesthetic is as old-fashioned as the many tropes it lazily drags on and any hope that a new “fresh” vision because the franchise is upon us fades almost immediately. It’s as cheap, poorly acted, and embarrassingly written as the worst in the series and its flaws are so much more apparent because those behind it seem to think they’re creating something more refined than just another Saw movie. The procedural surveillance of the subnet is written without a shred of specificity or even a vague knowledge of how detectives work, other than what can be learned from television (“Just focus on the case and solve this!”, ” Stick to hard evidence! ”) And the ridiculous incompetence of the force just means that we very quickly get caught up in a memory loop of a disgusting death scene, mocking clues and musings rather than an actual investigation.

Samuel L Jackson in a scene from Spiral: From the Book of Saw.  (Brooke Palmer / Lionsgate via AP)
Samuel L Jackson in a scene from Spiral: From the Book of Saw. Photograph: Brooke Palmer / AP

The game’s traps are as twisted as fans could hope for, but the structure often takes away any real suspense (we find out someone died before we saw them die) and the victims are so repellent it’s hard to garner much interest in just how gross. it gets. The script, by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, is curiously severe in the way it views corruption, neglect, and brutality incidents within the police force, but it is handled with such carelessness that any vague attempt to make some kind of Statement is wasted (the cops are so cartoonish, stupidly amoral that they steal the situation of any real value). While it might have been a gripping project for Rock, it’s unclear exactly what he’s getting out of all of this, his performance so embarrassingly misjudged that it would be a miracle if he took on a dramatic role once again. Everything is so bad that I wondered if it was some kind of joke, a joke to him that maybe we should see. At least like his father, Jackson is thankfully underused.

It’s in the final act that Saw movies often stand out, with carpet pull after carpet pull after carpet pull, but the final twist in Spiral becomes so utterly obvious that the biggest surprise is that there is nothing else underneath. sleeve. It’s all so rushed and half-baked, as if it’s improvised on the fly rather than intricately plotted, stupidly written, and worst of all, increasingly boring, a fitting ending to a bunch of rotten guts that is less of a Saw book. more novelization. Game over.

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