With the latest entry in the horror franchise coming this week, the first reviews for Spiral: From The Book of Saw are in. The Saw saga has never been the kind of thing to receive universal praise, though, and sure enough, fans should know that this ninth entry in the series is likewise being met with a mixed reception. However, the more positive reactions are hyping it up as a “legitimately frightening” thriller that acts as an exciting new chapter.
From Darren Lynn Bousman, who previously gave us Saws II through IV, Spiral brings in the franchise’s two biggest stars to date – Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. Rock features as Detective Zeke Banks, who’s been living in the shadow of Jackson’s legend on the force, as he leads the investigation into a series of grisly murders that recall the dark crimes of the infamous Jigsaw killer. Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols also feature.
EJ Moreno of Flickering Myth couldn’t be more positive about the movie, saying:
“The Saw franchise is back with a fresh new coat of paint. Chris Rock and Darren Lynn Bousman reinvent the horror franchise perfectly.”
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter’s Lovia Gyarkye notes that while it’s not perfect, it’s still a “legitimately frightening, if unevenly paced, detective thriller.”
Scott Mendelson of Forbes, meanwhile, believes it’s a “fun” watch for both seasoned fans and newbies, saying:
“Nitpicks and all, it works as a fun horror thriller for novices and another romp in the SAW universe for fans.”
And Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting says that the film “reinvigorates the franchise by evolving the universe.”
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On the other hand, Rocco T. Thompson of Slant Magazine criticized the pic for not following through with its deeper themes, stating:
“Spiral seems primed to explore the present-day fight against police brutality, but it never lives up to that promise.”
The AV Club’s Katie Rife echoed these thoughts, too, decreeing: “It’s not a waste of a concept, exactly, but it’s not the reinvention that the franchise needs, either.”
At the time of writing, Spiral is literally splitting critics right down the middle with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 50% based on just 26 reviews. It’s hard to say whether it’ll go up or down once more come in, but right now, it’s tying with the first Saw to be crowned the highest-rated movie in the franchise on RT – I told you these films weren’t universally praised.
You can make up your own mind in just a couple of days, though, when Spiral: From The Book of Saw opens in theaters this Friday, May 14th.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes