Spiral (2019): Movie Review

Well-paced, "Spiral" has all the elements to literally thrill you and chill you with its uncertain tone from start to finish. It's a movie that disturbs and shudders not only with its excellent atmosphere but with its timely take on discrimination as a whole.

Set in 1995, a same-sex couple, Malik (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) and Aaron (Ari Cohen), move to a small town with their 16 year old daughter to get away from the stressful city life. But nothing is as it seems in their new neighborhood as they find out that they are the only same-sex couple there. While their neighbors are seemingly friendly and open to their relationship at first, Malik notices strange things happening around them that makes him think that there is something more sinister at work in the background.
If not for some generic and uneven writing, "Spiral" would have easily scored a perfect score in our books. If you loved "Get Out", then you'll probably love "Spiral" too. It's a pretty similar experience if we’re being honest although "Spiral" takes the supernatural route a little too much for our taste - it was forced at particular points in the film and used mostly to generate unsatisfying jump scares. There were also some head-scratchers in the film like how one character, knowing the imminent danger around him, would still go around town alone and into an abandoned house in the middle of the night. The film also had a penchant to under-explain its concepts so don't expect any meaningful understanding of its lore by the time the credits roll.
Aside from its somewhat disappointing writing, everything else in “Spiral” was surprisingly great. Of note, the mix of its cinematography and soundtrack made each scene ooze with tension and mystery that kept us not only on our toes but also with our minds. Director Kurtis David Harder had exquisite camera work as he was able to get audiences right into the craziness that our lead character Malik found himself in. On the acting front, we found it to be good overall but there’s nothing note-worthy if we’re being blunt about it. Overall, “Spiral” mixes its horror, mystery, and societal message well that the experience is not only heart-pounding but also one that has a meaningful message for the masses to consume.
Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- the cinematography, acting, soundtrack mix well to make a harrowing and satisfying experience

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the writing lacked polish and didn’t explore the film’s lore more
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