I had the privilege of reading this script and it’s one of those concepts that is so perfect it seems it should have been done a thousand times before. The best ideas tend to feel this way, and the best ideas tend to have me kicking myself for not thinking to do the seemingly obvious. Fully experienced both of these while reading. Marco’s script oozes with heart, and while it does pay tribute to all the beloved slashers so close to our collective horror-loving-hearts, it delivers a hell of a lot more than nostalgia. By the end, I was choked up and my heart strings had been effectively tugged. Can’t wait to see the kill scenes on screen. Take a look at this pitch video and let the excitement commence.
Spiral is a brand new beast with legs strong enough to stand on its own while still fitting nicely into the Saw family franchise and the lore that came before. It is at once fresh and faithful, reverent of its lineage but not so much of an homage that its afraid to spread its wings and become its own brand new entity. Thankfully, it was given the necessary space to cut loose and fly rather than prematurely clipping its wings. From The Book of Saw, a story is birthed and emerges, something akin to a proud parent sending a child out into the world with certain foundations in place coupled with complete freedom to grow and evolve.
To label it “another Saw movie” would be unfair to both the existing installments in the franchise which so intricately weaves story and timeline together and unfair to this original new entry. Director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III,IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera) and writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger (Jigsaw, Piranha 3D) offer up an expansion to the universe in which Jigsaw exists. Chris Rock’s quippy levity is a nice balance to the guts and gore of the twisted games fans have come to love over the course of eight Saw films. Max Minghella is charming as the rookie cop assigned as reluctant Detective Zeke Banks’ (Chris Rock) eager new partner. Marisol Nichols is a take-no-shit badass as Captain of the precinct and of course, Samuel L. Jackson as Det. Banks’ father is likely exactly what you’d hope he’d be, motherfu**er!
You don’t need to watch all eight Saw films before diving into Spiral, but it certainly adds to the fun. This works as a standalone which is great for new or casual fans, but also is a fun nod to the series and the spirit of the franchise for existing fans. A real benefit of having a director and writers who have previously worked and created within the franchise is the way they were able to keep the spirit alive while deviating and breaking away in ways that strengthened this new story. Overall this new installment feels closer to a police procedural, where the majority of the existing movies take place largely from within Jigsaw’s traps, this one takes us on the outside following along with Detective Banks as the clock ticks against him and his colleagues. It feels accessible to new fans in a way that allows them to watch this as their introduction to the world and then dive into the rest of the series and essentially experience those as prequels. So don’t shy away from this if you’re not eight Saw films deep. This movie works well for both camps and I’m excited to see more of this universe it has blown wide open, ripe for the storytelling.
After the delay from its original May 2020 release date, Spiral heralds a collective triumphant return to movie theaters. It’s popcorn season and we are just getting started! See you at the theater.
Spiral spins into theaters this Friday, May 14th.
Check out the opening scene from the movie (warning, it’s brutal!)
Ryan Kruger’s Fried Barry is a wild wild ride to say the least. Gritty, grimy, gross. Those are the three words that first come to mind when watching. The main question on my mind while watching this film- why is South Africa so horny? Director Ryan Kruger joined us fresh out of Fantasia Fest to chat all things Barry and shows off his handmade quarantine chopstick birdhouse. Read my original (spoiler free review) here
In Search Of Darkness II is now on Shudder and if you’re like me, maybe you wanted a list of every movie mentioned in parts one and two. So here’s a gorgeously put together syllabus courtesy of my very organized and wonderful friend @TheDezz !
Absolutely raucous in all the best ways. Ancient Irish vampire lore and excessively fun, gruesome gory bits! Take what you think you know and throw it out the window. Writer-Director of Boys From County Hell, Chris Baugh joins us today to talk about his new film now streaming on Shudder!
Xanthe Pajarillo is here fresh off directing the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. Join as us we chat the challenges of virtual production, trials and triumphs and ultimately – the importance of making the most of what you’ve got!
Did you miss the live stream? You can check out both the pre-show and the big event in this post
Wow! What a wonderfully wild week and a most magical night. I don’t know if I will ever return to my body after this out of body experience. Getting to chat with so many people I respect and admire greatly… well let’s just say I’m still scraping my brain matter off the walls and attempting to stuff it all back into my skull. Eternally grateful.
Thank you to Fangoria for inviting me to be part of this. Big thanks to Gigi Saul Guerrero, Barbara Crampton, Josh Stolberg, Travis Stevens, Sarah Lind and Sam Zimmerman. And thanks to everyone who tuned in, sent lovely words of support, kept the chat fun and lively, it was great to see so many familiar names on the feed. I wish I could go back and read all the comments but apparently I would have needed to do a screen recording for that to happen!! If you missed the pre-show live stream you can check it out here:
And if you missed the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards (or if you just want to rewatch it like I have maybe a few times now) you can check that out on YouTube. I believe it will also be on Shudder at some point. What a production! Congrats to everyone who pulled this off, I know it delivered a straight shot of glee to my guts and the sentiment seems to be overwhelmingly similar. David was an incredible host and it was so much fun to watch the presenters and winners videos. Congratulations to all winners, nominees, and each and every person behind the scenes, pulling off this awesome show.
The 2021 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards hosted by David Dastmalchian with presenters Jamie Lee Curtis, Keith David, Kevin Smith, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Doug Jones, Biqtch Puddin’, and more! Directed by Xanthe Pajarillo.