In the buildup to Spiral, there was a lot of intrigue surrounding a new Saw movie starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as one that didn’t involve Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw or his trusted confidant Billy the Puppet, the two most recognizable aspects of the entire mythology outside of the signature elaborate traps.
After being delayed for an entire year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Spiral finally hit theaters last month and appears to have completely vanished from the cultural conversation already. Critically and commercially, it fared okay by the standards of the long-running horror series, but it did at least perform well enough to turn Saw into a billion-dollar brand.
On Rotten Tomatoes, a 36% rating is good enough to place it fourth out of the nine installments to date, while Metacritic’s 38 places it fifth. In terms of earning power, Spiral is at the very bottom of the pile having just barely crossed $36 million globally, although the pandemic can take the blame for a lot of that.
Fans were hugely appreciative of the latest chapter, though, but one person who surprisingly hasn’t gotten around to seeing it yet is Tobin Bell, although he did admit that he’s heard nothing but good things about returning director Darren Lynn Bousman’s latest.
“I have not seen Spiral, but I know I know what a talented and imaginative guy that Chris Rock is. So I can’t imagine that it doesn’t open a sort of a window into another kind of window. My understanding is it’s not really a Saw film, it’s kind of in the Saw universe. Having not seen it, I can’t really comment on it, except that anything that keeps Saw in the minds of people, and God knows the fans out there are incredibly dedicated to that franchise, will only focus attention on it. So Spiral is in the rear-view now and we’ll see what happens moving forward.”
Bousman revealed a while back that he’d toyed with the idea of having Bell cameo as Jigsaw right up until the final day of shooting, before deciding that he wanted Spiral to stand its own merits, which was probably the right move in hindsight. Sequel talks have already taken place, but it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Rock’s Zeke Banks isn’t going to dislodge Jigsaw as the franchise’s biggest icon.