Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Before I begin, you have to understand just how big of a fan of the Saw franchise that I am. I watch all the movies every October for Halloween, I have the Saw video games, and I have a book about the philosophy behind Jigsaw. I loved trying to guess what would happen next with Jigsaw's big plan each time a new movie came out. I love Jigsaw's philosophy and the idea that someone's watching and will hold people accountable for their actions. The new film, however, takes place several years later after the events of the eighth film and doesn't have much to do with the main series. There are references and callbacks and parallels, however.
Spiral follows Detective Zeke Banks, a man who is under fire from the other cops at his precinct because he turned in a dirty cop. When a Jigsaw copycat starts killing off other dirty cops, suspicions arise and tempers flare. It's up to Zeke to figure out who the killer is before more people die.
I admit, when I first heard Chris Rock was going to be the star of a new Saw film, I was a bit apprehensive. I became even more concerned when Leigh Whannell confirmed he wouldn't be part of the crew for this one. My worries eased after the season 4 of Fargo aired. Chris Rock was so brilliant that I knew for a fact he could pull off a Saw film. Now that I've seen Spiral, I can confirm that Chris performed outstandingly. His chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson was perfect and I'd love to see them pair up again.
What stood out the most was the story progression. The twists in this film are incredible and tops many of the previous entries in the franchise. In fact, I'd go so far as to say this is my 3rd favorite in the series. That may not sound great but consider the fact there's nine total entries.
I was happy to hear Charlie Clouser returned to compose the score for the film, turning in one of the best film compositions of his career.
The only issue I had with the film was the lack of explanation on behalf of the killer. The Jigsaw traps require an extensive knowledge of engineering and planning and yet it was never explained if the killer studied engineering or if they had help that we don't know about yet. I guess that's not a complete negative. You want the audience to talk and hypothesize and come back for more, right?
In conclusion, if you're a Saw fan, or even if you've never seen a Saw film, you're in for a treat. There's callbacks and parallels to the main series, but you can understand and enjoy this entry even if you know nothing about the others. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper
Mike L from Canada on May 17, 2021:
Thanks, I'll check it out then!
Nathan Jasper (author) from Sylva, NC on May 16, 2021:
Yes, it references Jigsaw but not heavily so Spiral is not dependent upon the main films however I do recommend finishing the series at some point :)
Mike L from Canada on May 16, 2021:
As someone who's only seen the first 3 films, is this one a good place to jump back into Jigsaw's morally insane world?