With Spiral: From the Book of Saw hitting real-life theatres this week, Chris Rock has joined the Saw franchise. And, like with each new installment in the Saw franchise, there’s a surprise finale that may require further explanation. Spiral (also known as Spiral: From the Book of Saw) is a horror film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger that was released in the United States in 2021. The film is the ninth chapter in the Saw franchise. Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, and Samuel L. Jackson feature in the thriller, which depicts police efforts to stop a Jigsaw-style killer.
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What is Spiral: From the Book of Saw About?
Off-duty Detective Marv Boswick follows a burglar through a sewage drainage pipe during a Fourth of July parade. Boswick awakens in an active subway tunnel, suspended by his tongue, after being attacked from behind by a person wearing a pig mask. He is offered an option through recorded message: cut out his tongue and survive, or stay until the next train arrives, killing him.
Boswick is murdered by the train after failing to flee the trap in time. The next day, Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks is assigned a new partner, idealistic rookie William Schenk, by police Captain Angie Garza. Banks and Schenk examine the killing of Boswick, and Banks notices a resemblance to the now-deceased Jigsaw Killer.
Meanwhile, a murder investigator called Fitch is kidnapped and placed in a trap where he must pull his fingers off to prevent electrocution in a filling water basin; he also fails to escape and dies. Fitch had rejected a backup call from Banks some years earlier, nearly killing him. Due of Banks’ relationship with Fitch, several cops began to suspect him of being the perpetrator. The station then receives a parcel containing a pig puppet and a bit of Schenk’s tattooed flesh.
The police are directed to a butcher shop by a little vial within the box, which was once a hobby shop where Banks and his father, retired chief Marcus Banks, would go. When the squad arrives, they find a recording recorder and a skinned corpse identified as Schenk. Marcus decides to seek out the killer himself and visits a warehouse, where he is kidnapped.
Garza is abducted and placed in a trap in the cold storage of the precinct, where she must slice her spinal chord with a blade to prevent hot wax from running through a conduit over her face. She fails to do so, and when Banks discovers her corpse, she dies from her injuries caused by the boiling hot wax.
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Interesting Things About Spiral: From the Book of Saw
According to Chris Rock, the inspiration for Spiral came from a chance meeting with Michael Burns, Lionsgate’s vice chairman, at a friend’s wedding in Brazil, and he felt that doing something in the horror genre would be a new direction for him to take in his career, though he planned to include some comedic elements in the film. Rock approached Lionsgate with his plans to expand the series, and the studio was immediately interested.
Rock’s concept was “fully respectful to the tradition of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his humour, artistic vision, and enthusiasm for this great horror property,” according to Lionsgate CEO Joe Drake.
According to industry reports, Lionsgate has began talks for a ninth Saw film in January 2018, however the Spierig Brothers would not be returning. In an interview with Screen Rant, the directors revealed that their picture established the groundwork for potential sequels. Twisted Pictures was working on a sequel with Jigsaw authors Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger by April 2018.
What Spiral couldn’t do was retain the viewer’s attention on the suspense as the traps were being played out. The original films used innovative techniques to create an adrenaline-pumping atmosphere in these situations, such as using frequent camera cuts and emphasising the victims’ lack of time. Spiral’s traps were eerily identical from one to the next, and it was clear that the victims wouldn’t make it out alive. While most of the characters killed in the first series, the suspense was such that the viewers felt like they were a part of the event.
The original films were so focused on Jigsaw’s ideals that they didn’t give the heroes enough screen time. Furthermore, these characters would be given little of an arc, and their stories would end in a predictable manner.
Spiral’s finale harkens back to a number of earlier Saw film endings, as long-term fans of the genre will notice. The villain doing something particularly heinous before fleeing — a last ‘game over’ moment before the credits roll – is a tradition that dates back to the first Saw film.