One of my favorites horror movies franchise is Saw, I'm really started to like Saw franchise when I was a kid watching Saw 3 with all brutality and gore, though. I hadn't any sense who criticize that movie, but one aspect which I could pay attention was about John Kramer's test with the main character if he could forgiven all the bad things which happen to him.
After that, I saw the franchise with others eyes and started to like it even the franchise been falling down through the sequences and when I knew about a new attempt of sequel I couldn't let to give a new try because I'm huge fan, but the only thing that comes to me when I finished was only the dissapointment.
A brief about the classic franchise
Before I do my review about the Spiral, I'd like give a little abstract about the classic franchise, the 2017's prequel. I notice two groups that was dividied in hate the movie because it's was bad and the other group which like a little bit, after search the reason I realized they watched the classic before start the last movie to give a comparison.
Saw 1 to 3 - "I want to play a game"
The first movie works by itself, it's like, you can watch and when you finished it's easily end there. It's a simple plot where the main characters (Adam and Doctor Gordon) have a main conflict, but Gordon has a personal one that is your family is being hostage by someone. Even knowing about that a little forward he still present like a calm person, rational, patient for not lose control because he still has time to think how to escape.
Adam, it's a little impatient, cunning and short temper. He doesn't have any personal conflict, none of your acquaintance is being hostage or have the chance to die. He only wants to survive, but still can have presence because who explosive is your actions.
The plots works well because the mystery around characters is our mystery, too. We don't know who is behind this, and the characters, too. The information that are reveal give us new doubts and when we look for the sequels, isn't work that because there aren't clues, but loose informations without context, that why the plot twist doesn't work well (with rare expections).
Saw 2 starts with a trap, which give to the franchise a new step on the cake recipt when is making a new movie. The plot have the investigation about the game and the local where the game is playing.
The game this time have more players, but they doesn't well developed, at this point we know Jigsaw have a target in people which doesn't respect the live they have or criminals which he believes doesn't wasn't punished as should be. The main problem with these characters are the lack information the viewers have about them, we know they are criminals which have been condemned by crimes that they don't commited, but forged by the main character (Detective Eric), so they don't were judged by their crimes properly, but this doesn't make them innocents. The main problem about it is not the lack of information about what they do, but they don't have any redemption. The only thing after one of them die is get frustrated and move along, they don't regret about they deeds to deserve that or try to team up to escape there, the only two charactes is make mention is Amanda (from previouse movie) and Daniel (Detective Eric's son).
The plot twist still works well in the end because is could possible to happen and the movie give us clues about it while tries to trick us with suppossed scenes where have connections, but it'doesn't.
Saw 3 is one can receive the award of the longest movie from the franchise. In the attempt of give a good story, the movie falls in the same mistake over and over again, make a repetitive and cloying plot.
The protagonist is Jeff which have lost your son in a car crash, the culprit receive a light setence making Jeff only thing about revenge all the time ruining your marriage and ignoring your daughter. His game is basically go through the people responsible who he believes is responsible for the dead of your son and try to save him like a way to forgive they deeds. Another game we watch is Doctor Lynn with a collar of shotgun shells over her neck and she needs to keep John Kramer alive to not activate.
The main problem of movie is Jeff, by being the protagonist the movie focus much in his development, but Jeff can't progress like a character, the main reason is in his trials where he takes so long to make simples decision. The first trap one of the witness that could condemn ran away, she tied with chains in an extremely cold room while receive ice water jets until gets frozen and he only acts when he needs to escape and continue, the same thing happen in this third trial where he faces the culprit on one the most brutal trap where will twist his legs, arms and head one by one and once again he just stay over there thinking about the same things he thinks before two times and still can't act. I didn't mention his second test because the do the same thing, but he saves the judge for the reason his trap would be take so long to kill him, so he could act even later.
Meanwhile Doctor Lynn doesn't suffer from that because her game is good because have moments where she is winning or losing. She needs to keep John Kramer alive until Jeff finished all his tasks and she need improvise with no orthodox medical tools which gives a chance of kill John Kramer or doesn't treat him well and possibly die and worth mention when Doctor Lynn's scenes doesn't suffer from that vicious takes that sometimes ruin some scenes.
Saw IV to VII - "The begginner of the fall"
And here we are, where the fall of franchise begin. At this point, Saw will suffers from the same idea of a new movie until Saw Final Chapter. What will we have? Basically the movie will have the rule of the same plot in have the deadly game running is some place and a police investigation that leads to nowhere.
What these 4 movies have is character trapped to die, rarely someone survives to tell the history and they have zero charisma, the traps starts to get more absurd than before, but it's established that Jigsaw is a enginner so it's okay have such traps and as long the movies show us all this was prepared by him and his apreendices.
While the police investigation, Straham is a detective who can spot the solution miles away, sometimes is pretty reasonable and other is just the script which needs advance to a conclusion. The new responsable for the games Detective Hoffman is some of characters that have some presence because of his cold and arragoncace. Another craze these movies have is the need to have flashback to connects the events of give a reason of the presents happens. In general, what happen is these last 4 movies is a gore festival and the quality is avaliable through the plot where may be high or lows of quality.
Instead of give us a sequel of Saw Final Chapter these movie only works one time, the main problem is the plot twist at end, that why it works one time, what he have here are two parallel timeline which are reveal at the end like in Saw 2, however we know what happen in Saw Final Chapter and the expectation was the John Kramer's legacy would be continued by the hidden apreendice that was behind all Jigsaw games, these two timelines happen one in the present and another even before the beginner of Saw 1, however past have so much modernity aspect and no context with previous scenario from the first movie (a dirty abandoned bathroom) against a finest, clean high tech barn, so it's impossible believe that these prequel match with the first movie.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
And finally we reach to the final franchise movie. Spiral initially was argue by Chris Rock, another huge fan from franchise where in his role will been son of character acted by Samuel L. Jackson. These was the reason why I decided to try another chance, specially because I believe like a fan from Saw, Chris Rock would give a good movie instead another same thing (or even worst). It's all was mystery until 2021 when the first trailer showing more about this new movie was release.
The trailer gives a show of this new world building, basically all the concepts about the classic series was here, while Jigsaw show us a new apreendice who still is tied with Jigsaw, Spiral show us a copycat, who wants have your own puppet, own pig mask while follow the same philosophy. It's show to us through the video that supposeed the story would be focus on the start of a new traps which will work individually in some places while Ezequiel Banks (AKA Zeke, Chris Rock's character) was needed run against time to find him while the tension would take place as the film progressed.
Unfortunally the plot take places to nothing, Zeke is the worst detective in a movie because all clues takes to square one and the script only goes forward because the killer decide, so, basically, if the new Jigsaw ended on the first trap, the movie could end there. The plot twist here is anything, all the secrets revelaed was phrases used in one context that work on a scene and then in the flashbacks them give another like the real meaning was this new one, it's a game of ambiguos words. The thing only works for the villian because the script ensure that.
What dissapointment me more was the new puppet, baptized as Mr.Snuggles, the pig match with the animal from previous movies to Johm Kramer while match with the new target of this new Jigsaw who is the corrupted police, however it's just a creepy pig. Mr.Snuggles doesn't talk, he hasn't no voice, it's only an allegory and like you can see in the trailer it's seems Mr.Snuggles would have a laugh voice that wasn't used.
The ending is another thing bad used, specially the famous soundtrack "Hello Zepp", this soundtrack is well constructed and need to be used in a way where all events comes up reveal the clues which could show us the truth, but here it's only play to tell us the movie is ending.
Saw is a franchise that could be have a great sucess, but like many others horror movies after have a good profit with low budget, the companies try to dry it up until rest no longer, there a tenth movie planned with the original creator and I hope quality can come back again.