The Saw franchise of horror movies never really went away, having gained a new entry as recently as 2017 with the origin spinoff Jigsaw, and yet the newly unveiled trailer for Spiral feels like a comeback of sorts. Saw was the defining scary-movie series of the 2000s, at a time when the once-robust tradition of the horror movie sequel was seriously flagging, and now it’s returned to pour the blood back into our cineplexes.
Though only sort of, it would appear. The trailer below bills the upcoming Spiral as ‘From the Book of Saw’, which means we’re either dealing with a section of the Gospel that didn’t make it through the Bible’s final round of edits, or this will be more of a reboot than proper sequel. Be that as it may, the clip concludes with Chris Rock chained to a radiator with nothing to free himself but a rusty bone saw, so some things never change.
Rock (who also claims a ‘story by’ credit on the screenplay) stars as beat cop Zeke Banks, a lifer detective who stumbles onto the case of a lifetime alongside his new rookie partner (Max Minghella). Zeke smells a serial killer with a penchant for cops, identifiable by the spiral insignia recognizable from murder-puppet Jigsaw’s face, and he’ll need his veteran-of-the-force father (Samuel L. Jackson) to help out if they want to survive.
Saw pioneered the disreputable sub-genre of so-called torture porn, films that shocked and titillated audiences with sadistically creative displays of bodily harm, in this case involving ghastly contraptions ripping jaws and limbs this way or that. While the new film seemingly adopts the structure of a police procedural, it wouldn’t be a Saw movie without some of the old ultraviolence.
More surprising than anything else is Rock’s involvement, both as star and contributing writer. He hasn’t had a huge presence onscreen as of late, but this year he’s set for a two-pronged comeback between this and the newest season of TV’s Fargo.
Rock’s good with the no-BS schtick that could be easily fitted to a cop persona, and with Darren Lynn Bousman returning as director (he handled installments two, three, and four, not to mention Repo! The Genetic Opera), we can rest easy that we’re in trustworthy hands. Until they’re amputated.
Spiral comes to cinemas in the UK and US on 15 May.
Published 5 Feb 2020
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