While it is best to see Spiral as more of a spinoff from the Saw series, it cannot help having the franchise’s DNA splattered all over it.
In some instances this can be a good thing, such as the inventive traps we have become accustomed to but on the flipside we have a roster of forgettable characters to help us all this new path.
Surprisingly Chris Rock is not one, and his turn as a rogue cop trying to hunt down a killer with telltale signs which resemble John Kramer is quite thought out whereas his support do come up short. The biggest clanger here being Samuel L. Jackson as a former police chief and father to Rock’s Zeke Banks, who feels like a cardboard cut out who is only around for the pay cheque.
Where Spiral does shine is with its social commentary, which feels quite timely regarding the role of law enforcement. This plot strand does carry through, although it will be tricky to logically maintain if a sequel does materialise.
The ‘twist’ of Spiral is also quite easy to figure out so once we get the full picture it feels like the film is playing catch up to us the viewer.
With ideas for a sequel muted, I’d say this is one book of Saw that I’d quite happily recycle before reading another chapter.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw is out now in the cinemas.