Spiral: From the Book of Saw (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Distributor: Belga Home Video
Duration: 93 minutes

Spiral: From the Book of Saw (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Fairly decent concept for a standalone story
Bad: Feels a bit useless, Bad acting, Somewhat ignores the core principle behind the Saw movies
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In 2017 Saw fans were treated to Jigsaw, a new installment of the Saw series. This new film tried to reinvent itself slightly to kickstart a new wave of movies. Sadly, those same fans have not really gotten much more than that specific release in 2017. Now, we get another release in the Saw universe, albeit a complete standalone story that could easily be viewed by those who have not completely watched all the prior films. With Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead, we were curious to see what Spiral: From the Book of Saw had in store for us. Sadly, we were not really impressed.

In Spiral we get to meet detective Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Banks (Chris Rock) who is shunned by his colleagues for turning in a corrupt fellow officer. Due to this, he is a lone wolf in his department and tries to solve many cases on his own, even going undercover without anyone else knowing. Sadly, it seems that he now has to work together with the same cops that treat him poorly, as a Jigsaw copycat is on the loose, murdering police officers. Many of the serial killer’s messages are also directed towards Banks, stating that the current murders are a way of cleansing the police force from those who are corrupt.

Overall, the flow isn’t too bad. The movie doesn’t have too many dead moments, but even so, we couldn’t help but notice continuity errors and a lot of poorly handled scene transitions. During the movie, we saw scenes where characters picked up items with their bare hands, to see them wearing gloves the next second, to flow into other tiny mistakes. At times we were more intrigued to see what could go wrong in the next scene, rather than pay attention to the story. Nonetheless, what truly makes Spiral a mediocre experience are two issues: The ending that goes against the main principles of a Saw movie, and the trashy acting performances.

Truth be told, the acting performances in this film are horrendous, and Chris Rock is not upping the quality for this project. We found most acting performances downright unconvincing, and the unnatural amount of swearing in the movie made the dialogues laughable. The movie had no redeeming qualities, except for the few lines by Samuel L. Jackson, but even his performance felt a bit flat in this movie. That being said, both Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols could easily compete for the worst acting performance of the year. Both cast members truly make the experience cringe-worthy and they take overacting to the next level, completely destroying what could otherwise be an interesting (horror) crime movie.

The DVD version of Spiral comes with a lot of bonus content. This content mainly consists of audio commentaries and behind-the-scenes footage revolving around the idea behind the story, the casting of Chris Rock, and how certain scenes came to life. Fans of Saw, in general, will certainly find these extras quite interesting, and for us, it has actually been a while since we saw a DVD (not Blu-ray) release with so many special features.


If you’re a die-hard Saw fan, you’ll probably moderately enjoy this standalone story, but compared to the main series, this one feels a bit off. We did like the original approach to the story, but sadly, the acting performances were more often than not horrendous, and the ending of the movie goes against what the Saw movies stand for. Even so, if you want to have a complete Saw collection, you probably won’t really regret picking this one up. If, however, you are merely interested in the standalone plot that ties in with the Saw universe, we suggest waiting until you find this one in a bargain bin.

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Spiral: From the Book of Saw (DVD) - Movie Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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1 Comment

  1. […] scenes have the right amount of gore in them. Things never get ridiculously over the top in a Saw-like manner, which is certainly a plus. Nonetheless, some scenes are very graphic, and perhaps a […]

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