Spiral Review

Wow, a psychological thriller that's not based on the Japanese horror movie of the same name? Impossible!

While Spiral may not be the most enthralling film ever made, it isn't a bad example of a creeper, telling us a tale of a troubled loner who works in telemarketing but who may just find a chance at love when a sensitive girl comes along. Joel Moore (who co-wrote and co-directed) embodies creepy to a fault, so seeing his Mason bum around his bohemian apartment, get chewed out by his supervisor, and spend hours sketching portraits of women don't really surprise us. A twist comes with Amber (Amber Tamblyn), who lets him sketch her, then gets closer, and eventually ends up under the covers with Mason. It's hard to explain what happens next without ruining the ending, but there's some concern that Mason may have a violent streak hiding just under the surface as well as the possibility that Amber may be a figment of Mason's imagination.

Together with the film's other director, Adam Green of Hatchet fame, Moore immerses you in Mason's messed-up world of severe alienation quite effectively. After 90 minutes I was wondering myself whether I was starting to lose it a little bit, what with all the fluorescent lights and stuff suddenly disappearing from the screen.

Still, it's hard to get past the fact that the movie is ultimately one long, slow buildup to a surprise ending that conceals two or three twisting secrets while still remaining elusive and open to interpretation. How you end up feeling about Mason depends on how charitable you are toward him on a personal level, and how willing you are to forgive his quirkiness as mere eccentricity or whether you've seen him as a Norman Bates-style psycho from the start. Poor guy's a telemarketer, after all.

The DVD includes a commentary track and a handful of making-of featurettes.

Looks real to me.


Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th February 2000

Budget: $1.5M

Production compaines: ArieScope Pictures, Coattails Entertainment


Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Jeremy Danial Boreing, Cory Neal

Starring: as Mason, as Amber, as Berkeley, as Sasha, David Muller as Will, Annie Neal as Diana

Also starring: