Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Spiral (Review)


Spiral (2008)

Directed by Adam Green and Joel Moore

We've all seen Hatchet right? So let's just say we all were on the Adam Green bandwagon camp of this guy knows horror and anything he makes will be old school American horror.

I even put Hatchet as #2 on my top 10 horror movies of 2007.

So my expectations were fuckin high for Mr. Green and his crew.

So when I watched Spiral, read the brief plot and saw stars in Green regular Joel Moore as Mason and Amber Tablyn as well Amber the creepiness factor rose to a factor of 10.

We would get some wicked willies of goosbumpy madness right?

But Spiral is far from Louisiana swamp Kane Hodder mutant slashers. What we have here is a psychological, Hitchcockian mind fuck that shows Green and Moore's range of messing with the audience.

No over the top gore, or unkillable slasher here folks. These aren't the droids you're looking for.
It's a classic psych experiment into one character's horror-verse where what we see and what we don't see are scary as fuck.

Boring Plot-O-Matic ( thanks IMDB)

A reclusive telemarketer, whose dysfunctional friendship with his boss is alleviated when a whimsical co-worker enters his life. But as he begins to sketch his new friend's portrait, disturbing feelings from his past threaten to lead him down a path of destruction.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

Joel Moore, a Green regular is as strange looking as he is geeky-ishly devious. He plays Mason, a telemarketer by day and painter by night. Moore does the creepy quiet guy well, honing on a few sporadic sentences early on then rambling into semi coherent sentences later. He meets Amber (Amber Tamblyn, The Grudge, etc) who talks like she's in the Buffyverse and whose personality is the complete opposite of Mason's.

Amber Tamblyn is so likeable, girl next door-ish, it's easy to see her go with the flow of the nature of her character. Mason's bro relationship with his boss Berkeley is also clingy clangy. He is the womanizer sexist who seems to have a staple in helping his fellow dude, acting as more of the straight guy to Mason's weird guy.

Most of the movie is this:

1.) Mason acts all crazy
2.) Mason meets Amber
3.) Mason talks to his boss pal Berkeley
3.) Mason paints Amber
4.) Mason and Amber talk
5.) Mason acts all crazy
6.) Amber feeds ducks
8.) Amber finds out Mason is crazy
9.) Mason acts all crazy
10.) Twist ending

But that's where Spiral is the strongest. Amber's run on leftover thoughts are hilarious as exampled below.

Amber: So anyway. Now that I have conquered my current job, what should I do next? I am thinking feminist or astronaut. Probably go with feminist, I'm afraid of heights.
Mason: Ah, what does a feminist do?
Amber: Mostly just bitches about stuff.

The relationship between Mason and Amber is like a neutral blend of romanticism with a tint of mystery. Mason has a secret. They both know it, we know it and we know Mason's deep deep secret will only be revealed after 85 minutes of Bob the builder. (the secret is foreshadowed by a glowing door in his apartment).

But I really liked their odd relationship. He the jazz loving, sketching, painter loner and she the outgoing sassy girl who is intrigued by the quirky guy. Both performances are mesmerizing. A sweet scene revolving around a walk home to a movie theatre "date" Spiral almost passes off itself as a romantic comedy. Thank frakness, it goes all downhill after that.

So when we inevitably get to the end, a twisty end with an extra squirt of twist, it's clever enough to save the movie. I recognized the twist 20 minutes in because I'm a PI when it comes to twists. But the added WTF at the very end will be a shock to others.

This is not M. Night twist shit, which somehow makes the entire movie seem pointless. This ending is a proper puzzle piece where you snap it in and you see the Magic Eye painting for the first time.

Spiral is a different direction for Green and I give him props for not going and making a American horror remake for another feature. He's a writer and director and visionary of making the movie he wants. Green make me the next Tarantino of the horror genre.

It's an awesome-tastic movie that will claim some new fans, keep the core and have detractors all at the same time.

I'm going to continue to monitor Adam Green's filmography like a hawk. You should all do the same. I mean Hatchet 2 may just be around the corner.

Gore-ipedia (if you want to be shocked don't read)

Some bloody hands

Nude-ipedia (because you like boobies)

Amber Tamblyn's naked back

WTF moment

The second twist

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Number Six (Tricia Helfer) makes a cameo. I really wanted to include this film in my Top 10, but its going to fall short. As much as I love the horror mystery, I felt like I needed something more, one more "ooooooomph" to get this to 3 spinkick level.

As the title suggests, you will see the spiraling out of control of Mason and the cruelty of his madness. But this movie will establish Adam Green as one of the best new directors and writers to come out of the horror scene.

As his shorts have laid out, he can be funny, scary and mysterious in anything he does. If he can blend all of this in his next movie, I'll be the first in line.


The Trailer

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