Famed “Saw” sequel director Darren Lynn Bousman took on the daunting task of trying to continue the beloved franchise this year for an astonishing ninth film in the series featuring a mystery thriller mixed with some familiar human mutilations.
Critics weren’t impressed but its UHD debut lets home theater fans decide whether Spiral: from the book of Saw (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Rated R, 2.39: 1 aspect ratio, 93 minutes, $ 39.99) lives up to its ghoulish origins.
The story finds a gray-haired police detective, Ezekiel Banks (Chris Rock), who must work with his rookie partner, Detective William Schenkto (Max Minghella) to solve a series of gruesome police murders reminiscent of the serial killer Jigsaw.
As the investigation triggered by the gruesome death of a former associate continues, Zeke must deal with an authoritarian retired homicide detective father, Marcus (Samuel L. Jackson), who turns out to be his landlord, and long-standing problems with his fellow officers afterward. that he turned into a dirty cop.
When the killer starts leaving boxes of body parts as clues, Zeke finds himself involved in a twisted game.
As usual, the diabolical traps set by the killer leave behind heaps of bloody human carnage (fingers plucked graphically from the hands is especially disgusting) but, unfortunately, the traps are uninspired and the plot doesn’t bring anything new to the series except a very mature comedian turned dramatic actor.
Yes, Mr. Rock carries the film mediocre, thanks to his edgy humor unleashed like a sharp knife and twinned with his Serpico-like police character overloaded with bitterness and hatred for his world.
Fans of “Saw” won’t be impressed with the killer and his absurd voicemail (which sounds like Ned Ryerson from “Groundhog Day”), the lack of an appearance from the original Jigsaw, and the abrupt, jaw-dropping and unsatisfying ending.
However, 4K streaming offers a presentation that is as sharp and colorful as you can expect, considering that the source material from the digital camera captures up to 6K of visual information.
Of course, that’s not so good for those squeamish during those gory and excessively gory deaths.
Best extras: Movie-loving viewers will really appreciate the unnecessary overhead of deconstructing the movie on the 4K disc starting with two optional comment tracks.
First, a passionate Mr. Lynn Bousman, with a bit of a game show announcing voice, along with co-writer Josh Stolberg and the musical composer of all the “Saw” films, Charlie Clouser, provide an uninterrupted appreciation of the cast. , the team and their efforts.
It’s the better of the two tracks, not just to get a music director’s perspective, but the trio work together, asking each other questions to trigger more memories as they delve deeper into the film.
Below, producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg offer a less chatty but more in-depth production commentary, as well as insight into the Saw franchise. They let us know details such as that the subway set cost $ 300,000 (the most of any “Saw” movie), there was a confrontation with the director about a scene using a Steadicam, the length of a human tongue and using an actor. who refused to curse.
Now let’s add a five-part, one-hour documentary on the making of the film, starting with the franchise’s origins and diving into new production that spans cast, comedy, cinematography, editing, and music. Viewers get a lot of comments from Mr. Rock as he tries to explain the creation of a “48 hours” and “seven” story.
The jet layers get a little over the top, but it’s a much more in-depth, informative, and well-constructed overview of what the movie deserves.
The director also offers a detailed nine-minute breakdown of the traps which, once again, does a fantastic job of explaining some cinematic magic for a not-so-great movie.
And, viewers even get a 6-minute look at the marketing for the “Saw” franchise that often talks about the iconic posters.
I wish “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” had been as good as the cast and crew’s appreciation.
Suffice it to report that fans will want to own this bundle, but the extras far outshine the final movie.