As a huge fan of the Saw series and suitably entertained by ‘Jigsaw’, my hopes were high for ‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’.
The 9th movie in the Saw franchise, Spiral is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who also directed Saw 2, 3 and 4, all of which I must say are quite terrific.
The unique traps, the fast-paced editing, the gruesome scenes and above all John Kramer, the iconic antagonist (though I consider him an anti-hero) whose voice of calm dread saying ‘I want to play a game’ make these movies a fascinating watch.
And this is why Spiral is the worst movie in the series. In fact, I wanted to switch it off after watching just five minutes, when the copycat Saw killer’s tape recorded voice sounded like listening to a teenager doing a shoddy audition of Billy the puppet, who by the way is not in the movie.
Worst of all, and mild spoilers…
Tobin Bell is not in the movie. Only his photograph is shown once when the cops are talking about a copycat Saw killer.
This is the worst mistake anyone could make. After eight Saw movies starring Tobin Bell, if you don’t cast him even from a deepfake angle or through flashbacks – this is blasphemy. Fans want to see John Kramer and Billy the puppet in some form but what we have instead is a wishy-washy villain. You will be groaning and grumbling at the climax.
Even the traps are nothing much to talk about. Clouseau’s superb soundtrack is heard towards the end, which is fine, but there is no mind-blowing revelation to give you goosebumps.
Sad part is, even with Chris Rock’s annoying high-pitched voice, the movie has a fairly decent premise. A Jigsaw copycat has a grouse against cops and wants to bump them off in various grisly ways. The execution is far from perfect though and it ends up being a B-grade torture porn movie that you should watch only if you have absolutely nothing to do.
If you are a Saw fan, you will anyway watch it. To feel better after this crappy movie ends, watch this fantastic video: