Spiral (2008)
Directed by Adam Green

Starring Amber Tamblyn Joel Moore Tricia Helfer Zachary Levi

Joel Moore, fresh off his role as the lead in "Hatchet," plays Mason, a demented sketch artist who has a day job as a telemarketer. A romance develops with a telemarketer from another building (Tamblyn), who likes his sketches. Moore's character is such a basket case, it's at first difficult to understand what his new love interest sees in him. But, given his artistic talent and his obsession with jazz, see something she does, and naturally a romance develops.

Moore, who co-directed and co-wrote the screenplay, is strangely endearing playing kind of a male version of Catherine Deneuve of "Repulsion" and the actor displays more depth than he was required to for "Hatchet." We get to watch him going nuts in his lonely apartment, filled with portraits of an imaginary woman that turns up in his nightmares. His new romantic relationships tips his fragile mental state over the edge and sends him into a homicidal rage.

Meanwhile, Moore's Mason has a bizarre friendship going with his boss (Zachary Levi), who seems to take pity on him and encourages him not to get too attached to his new girl. When his girlfriend doesn't show up at a dinner at his boss' place, Mason goes into crisis mode, while his boss doesn't seem terribly surprised. As we know in all psychological thrillers, all is not what it seems in these stories.

To delve into more of the story would simply be giving away too much. "Spiral" is a very good thriller given its very low budget, and you know it's going to have a twist ending going in, simply because of its title. The film does do a good job of hooking you in toward the second act, with a mystery surrounding Mason's sketches of other women: Who were all those other women? What happened to them?

The film is beautifully photographed and has an eerie jazz score that sort of evokes some of the vibe of giallo films of the 1970s, since very few horror films go with jazz scores these days. Unfortunately, that score switches to a pretty bad pop song at the end of the film a switch that greatly diminishes the impact of "Spiral."

Still, "Spiral" is worth a view and it's way better than Green's "Hatchet."

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


Posted by JK on April 13, 2008
Sounds interesting- will give it a look. I do love the gore in Hatchet though- that's what it's all about- (remember you are on Esplatter!- it's the splatter that matters)- If want to preach about intelectual merits- then go to something like E-drama or E-Thriller.


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