The popular Saw franchise has come to an end twice already, with the seventh installment in the series even being dubbed "The Final Chapter." Well, as everyone expected, the Saw series is back yet again with the new film Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which aims to rework the franchise a little bit with a new story from Chris Rock (who also serves as the film's lead). Fans are naturally wondering how this new film, which was supposed to hit theaters last year, will compare to the lackluster Saw sequels that came before it.
Spiral arrives in theaters in just a couple of days, which means that the review embargo has lifted and critics are starting to publish their thoughts online. In the first couple of hours since the reviews began pouring out, it seems as though Spiral has earned itself a pretty mixed reaction.
Reviews are split down the middle, with some feeling as though Spiral falls into the same traps as the other Saw sequels, and others believing it to be the fresh spin that has been advertised.
You can take a look at a few of the early reviews below, beginning with ComicBook.com's own Patrick Cavanaugh.
ComicBook.com - Patrick Cavanaugh
"Spiral: From the Book of Saw almost immediately shows off just how much more entertaining and impressive a sequel in the series can be when it focuses on story and character as opposed to unsettling the audience, but it fails to come out from under its own legacy, still culminating in an "unexpected" finale. Longtime fans will surely appreciate the new approach to the concept, yet it offers little to win over those doubtful about how much potential the concept ever had in the first place."
You can read our full review here.prevnext
The Hollywood Reporter - Lovia Gyarkye
"Spiral delivers when it comes to gore, if that's your thing, and appropriately dour aesthetics — but not much else. That's a shame, because the story's themes, from the unreformable nature of the police department to the cost of integrity in a space that values power above all else, could not be more relevant. If the mission was, as Bousman has suggested, to create a Saw film driven by a strong narrative instead of gruesome torture, it hasn't been fully accomplished."
You can read THR's full review here.prevnext
AV Club - Katie Rife
"Rock, for his part, puts on a screwed-up scowl that deepens with every new corpse, while Jackson's performance remains glib even when his character's circumstances grow quite serious indeed. They're both burdened by some truly unfortunate facial hair in the film's flashback scenes, one inelegant exposition detail among many. These little inconsistencies and indignities pile up, each one chipping away at the shock value until the reveal of the killer's master plan lands like a peanut butter sandwich that's been sat on for a few hours."
You can read AV Club's full review here.prevnext
Variety - Owen Gleiberman
"Yes, these are life lessons! And no, the Saw series hasn't really changed. So depending on whether you're a fan or not, eat up…or throw up."
You can read Variety's full review here.prevnext
Total Film - Jordan Farley
"That a formula as well-trodden as Saw's can still surprise, delight, and make you feel like you need a quick shower after is impressive. But Spiral is also that rarest of reboots – one that will satisfy series die-hards and a whole new generation of horror nuts. Well played."
You can read Total Film's full review here.prevnext
Collider - Matt Goldberg
"Spiral still offers the gory traps that have served as the franchise's trademark, but it would be a stretch to call it a "horror" film. Darren Lynn Bousman's movie is more in the realm of a film like Se7en where cops are racing to stop a serial killer with a particular axe to grind. However, unlike David Fincher's classic movie, Spiral feels redundant in its plotting even as it grasps for some vague commentary on how to deal with bad cops."
You can read Collider's full review here.prevnext
San Francisco Chronicle - Mick LaSalle
"Still, aside from the disgusting parts, "Spiral" is a fairly decent thriller. It has a straightforward but compelling premise, and it has Chris Rock playing it straight (but still being a little funny) as the lead cop on the case."
You can read the SF Chronicle's full review here.prev