Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Spiral Director Doesn’t Want His Movie Labeled As Torture Porn

As expected, Spiral topped the domestic box office over the weekend, although a haul of $8.7 million was lower than a lot of analysts had been expecting, even with the Coronavirus pandemic still forcing the theatrical industry to operate at limited capacity. The latest installment in the long-running series boasted Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson all over the marketing, so it's a little bit of a surprise that it didn't manage a double figure debut.

As expected, Spiral topped the domestic box office over the weekend, although a haul of $8.7 million was lower than a lot of analysts had been expecting, even with the Coronavirus pandemic still forcing the theatrical industry to operate at limited capacity. The latest installment in the long-running series boasted Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson all over the marketing, so it’s a little bit of a surprise that it didn’t manage a double figure debut.

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The ninth chapter in the Saw franchise probably won’t show much in the way of legs, either, with a tepid critical response leaving it on a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 38%, although the fans are clearly more appreciative as the audience score is currently a substantially higher 76%. Spiral might take the mythology in new and interesting directions, but as the opening scene made perfectly clear, it’s not about to abandon its gory roots, either. However, director Darren Lynn Bousman would rather folks didn’t brand it with the ‘torture porn’ label, as you can see below.

Eli Roth’s 2005 effort Hostel was the film that first saw the term coined, a year after James Wan’s Saw hit theaters, and it went on to define a particular era in horror that placed the focus on increasingly gruesome and grisly effects, of which the continued adventures of Jigsaw and his elaborate contraptions were a huge part.

As much as Bousman might want to distance himself from torture porn, he’s been a huge part of it having directed the second, third and fourth Saw movies as well as Spiral, which does admittedly shed much of the trappings that defined the property in the past, but still very much operates within the same framework as the previous eight outings.


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