23 June 2010

Spiral 2007 - REVIEW

Nothing impresses me more than someone who proves they're not just a "one hit wonder". I became a fan of Adam Green after seeing his "Old School American Horror" Hatchet. I've also had Joel David Moore on my radar since Dodgeball. He's such a great actor and he has that whole sexy geek thing going for him. I'm thrilled to see the depth of his talent come to the surface.

Spiral centers around Mason (Moore) a reclusive telemarketer with a knack for painting. Every day life for him is depressing. He's an outcast at work who is prone to bursting into panic attacks that end with 4 a.m. phone calls to his only friend Berkeley (Zachary Levi). When he meets Amber (Amber Tamblyn), a cute, quirky coworker, Mason slowly starts to open up about his past. But as Amber digs deeper and deeper into her new friend's history she realizes just how disturbed Mason is.

I will do my best NOT to give away any plot points of this film as discovering them while watching is kind of like a journey you have to make on your own. Kind of like a right of passage. Miss them and you won't know what's going on. Know them ahead of time and it spoils the whole story. What I can tell you is that writers Jeremy Danial Boreing and Moore have created a film that can easily be compared to the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski. The tension in Spiral starts from the opening scene and continues throughout the entire story. No matter how much you THINK you've seen this story before, think again. No element of this story overstays it's welcome. It is unusual, creative and provocative.

The biggest surprise for me was the performance by Moore. His character is developed with such love and empathy that by the end, you're torn between loving him or being horrified by his actions and Moore pulls it off with perfection. In fact, every one of the main characters does a terrific job. Tamblyn is great as the vivacious, bi-polar love interest. Some viewers may not like that her character wasn't explored deeper but I think in terms of story progression it had to be done that way. Levi portrays Berkeley who in some ways is the big brother type to Mason and in other ways he's more of an enabler. His motives for keeping such a closed off person as a friend are never quite clear. Is he using Mason to keep himself from being alone or does he really care about what happens to him?

The cinematography is great as well with the back drop of rainy Portland, Oregon enhancing the dark mood of the film. While some might find Spiral a little slow going, I personally enjoyed everything about it and would definitely recommend it to others. If you're looking for tons of gore or an in your face horror, I'd suggest a viewing of Hatchet instead. This is more of an 80 minute mind fuck. Is what your seeing real or fake? Did he or didn't he? Spiral is a new spin on an old twist. ENJOY!!

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