A.I

Chris Rock’s Saw reboot Spiral might be the ultimate Screaming Cop movie

We got our first taste of Spiral, a new sequel/reboot of the Saw franchise starring Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, way back in February 2020, when the film was due out that summer. Then COVID-19 happened, and we all experienced our own year of being locked up at home. Now, a year later, the movie is ramping back up for an actual theatrical release on May 14, and a new trailer sets the tone: more Extreme Se7en than chained-in-the-basement-awaiting-intricate-sharp-object-death horror.

With Rock as both a producer and actor in the film, Spiral might have interesting questions to ask about race, the current copaganda conversation, and horror tropes. But the trailer doesn’t dig that deep. In fact, the film, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger (Jigsaw, Piranha 3D), and directed by Saw series stalwart Darren Lynn Bousman, looks more like the ultimate Screaming Cop parody, with a backdrop of Jigsaw lore. Here are a few select quotes from Spiral:

“YOU CAN’T DO THIS ONE ALONE!”

“I THOUGHT THE JIGSAW KILLER WAS DEAD!”

“HOW CAN I CATCH THIS GUY IF THERE’S NOBODY ON THE FORCE I CAN TRUST!”

“WHOEVER DID THIS HAS ANOTHER MOTIVE!”

“THAT WAS JUST A DIVERSION!”

“I NEED EVERYONE ON THIS CASE!”

“HE COULD BE ANYONE!”

“WE’RE GOING TO TEAR THIS CITY APART!”

Watching Rock chew on the most basic detective one-liners gives Spiral the air of an MTV Movie Awards parody. But with a grander mystery in play, and the potential for some sharp, self-reflective consideration of Saw’s place in the canon, there could be more to the movie than the marketing is willing to share. In other words, “WHOEVER CUT THIS TRAILER HAS ANOTHER MOTIVE! THAT WAS JUST A DIVERSION FROM THE TRUE THEMES!”

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