Do you want to play a game? How about watch a movie? If the latter sounds more your speed, then it may be time to pick up “Spiral” on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital when it hits shelves on July 20.
Hailing “From the Book of Saw,” the latest disturbing installment in the franchise hit theaters back in May, starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella. After the “Saw” films dominated the horror landscape throughout the mid-to-late 2000s, the franchise went quite for nearly a decade, until “Jigsaw” attempted to revive the scares. The film couldn’t quite cut it, so another soft-reboot arrived in the form of “Spiral,” and while critics may have panned the film, moviegoers have seemingly held the latest installment in high regard.
Set in a post-“Jigsaw” world in which the sadistic crimes have begun to fade into the gruesome past, everything is reawakened when a copycat strikes. Hardened detective Zeke Banks (Rock) finds himself paired with a rookie investigator (Minghella) as the two dig into the grisly murders and unwittingly walk straight into the killer’s morbid game, all while the legendary status of Zeke’s father (Jackson) looms overhead.
Rock, with his comedy background, brings a surprising amount of laughs and levity to such a brutal franchise, and Minghella and Jackson play perfectly off of him. Be sure to check out Joel Winstead’s full review for a further breakdown of the film itself. But now, let’s take a look at what the home release has to offer.
From an audio and video quality perspective, “Spiral” is impressive. The 4K transfer beautifully displays the visual highs and lows of the film – from the vividly stylized colors to the pitch black and terrifying darkness. And, of course, the blood and gore is crystal clear. The Dolby Atmos audio is crisp, not requiring any volume adjustments between sequences of dialogue or louder sound effects or action sequences.
The bonus features are extensive, considering most new releases opt to take the less is more approach now. The film comes with two separate audio commentary tracks – one with the filmmakers and one with the producers – so those looking for a bit more insight into the film will have plenty to choose from here. As far as featurettes are concerned, there’s nearly enough here to rival the runtime of the film itself.
Special Features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital
- The Consequences of Your Actions: Creating Spiral (59:05) – Call it featurette-ception as this one featurette actual contains five separate clips. Ranging from behind-the-scenes footage to cast interviews, production design, casting, special effects and more, these videos take viewers through the entire filmmaking process.
- Drawing Inspiration: Illustrated Trap Breakdowns (8:45) – Ever wondered how the gruesome and twisted traps of these films are created? Well, you’re about to get an in-depth look at the process from start to finish. Director Darren Bousman goes through “Spiral’s” signature snares and deconstructs the concepts behind each one.
- Decoding the Marketing Spiral (6:12) – At a certain point, the “Saw” franchise went from actual marketing to word-of-mouth marketing, as news spread of all the horror and thrills to be had in their films. From an indie thriller to a nine-movie franchise, take a look back at the marketing machine that led the transformation.
- Audio Commentary with Director Darren Lynn Bousman, Co-screenwriter Josh Stolberg, and Composer Charlie Clouser
- Audio Commentary with Producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg
- Theatrical Teaser Trailer
- Theatrical Trailer
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.