Winner of the 2021 Academy Award for Best Picture, The Spiral Movie is a dark comedy/horror starring Ed Harris and includes many recognizable names from other films (think James Bond and Hostel). In the late nineteen seventies, Derren Brown became interested in working on a TV show based on the novel The Spiral Watch by Henry Krieger. With a penchant for horror movies, he was immediately sold on the project, and the series was set to begin later that year.
Working under the shadow of his deceased father, detective Zeke Banks engages in a cold case involving a series of brutal murders that re-enforce the darkness that has enveloped their small town. Unaware of the nature of his job, Zeke takes on the daunting responsibility of investigating a series of brutal murders that have occurred over the span of several months. Unwilling to trust in the police, the cynical young man becomes almost fanatical in his quest to find out what happened to each of the victims. Unwilling to give up, he must rely on his expertise and personal sense of reason to survive the perils of this dangerous and confusing maze that surrounds him.
Eric Bana plays the title role of newly minted detective, Zeke Banks. Hired by the local police department, he is an enthusiastic and confident young man who is eager to prove himself. But following the bloody murder of his parents, he comes to believe that he may be more than just a killer. Distraught and suspicious of his own competency, he is forced to accept the unusual relationship with police officer Gretchen Matheson that spans nearly twenty-four hours. As their unlikely connection deepens, he discovers that he may have a much greater potential than he ever thought.
The Spiral Watch is directed by David Fincher. He co-stars as Bankhead, Matheson's partner in the investigation. He is the only one of the team who is aware of the fact that the prime suspect is not dead. Determined to get to the bottom of this crime, he assigns private eye Zeke Banks to the case. His experience and training with Matheson make him an invaluable member of their team.
Dylan O'Brien, Patricia Clarkson, Michael Chiklis, Edward Herrmann, Mark Wahlberg, Nichelle Gholston, Kay Panabaker, Amy Ryan, and others also make an appearance in this movie. There are some well established characters in this movie including those of Bankhead and Matheson. Dylan O'Brien and Patricia Clarkson also play supporting roles. However, it should be said that the movie is not as gripping or even as suspenseful as its hype may indicate.
Spiral is a standard action thriller with strong action sequences. It is well choreographed and has a definite beginning, middle, and end. It takes its time building up the suspense and builds its characters and plot in such a way that they are not predictable at all. However, the movie does hit the nail on the head occasionally. For instance, there is a brief mention of a vial of blood found in one of the vials at the start of the film which is supposedly blood from Dylan's brother's skull. This is unexpected and interesting.
Spiral does have some good twists. For example, after the credits, we find out that Matheson has faked his death. He has gone into hiding and started a new life. There is also some good one on one acting throughout the movie by some of the characters. It is subtle, yet effective.
Overall, the movie is very entertaining. It contains some good one liners and good twists that keep the viewers interested throughout. It is not as long as the book, but it is just as entertaining. Movie-goers who do not read the book will find this movie very pleasing.