Spiral (2007) Review

Spiral Artists are often troubled souls. Translating their pain and issues into marvellous artistic forms. Van Gogh was one such example of this type of person.
People with troubled minds often find it easy to make the transition to ‘murderer’ or ‘psychopath’, and that could be where some of the rationale for Spiral came from.

Joel Moore co-writes, co-directs and stars in this chilling tale, playing Marshall, a troubled, jazz loving artist who has some serious issues.
Working in a dismal office by day, Marshall’s nights are terrorised by what appears to be distressing episodes: cold sweats, trouble breathing, panic attacks and the belief that he has done something horrible.
An old school friend who also works at the same firm is his rock, helping him to get through these ‘moments’, either over the phone or in person. A puff on the inhaler and some advice are usually enough to calm Marshall down.

A new girl, Amber,  starts at the company and is drawn to Marshall. Before long, they become friends, and Marshall agrees to make her one of his ‘models’, painting her in various specific poses.
However, as Amber gets closer to him she finds out that Marshall has a dark side, and that perhaps there is good reason for his feelings of guilt and anxiety. Killer? Or just crazy and delusional? She takes it upon herself to find out.

Spiral is a stylish film. From the way in which it’s shot, to the cool jazz that accentuates it.
The grey skies, grey office, and dull life of Marshall help you to appreciate where he’s coming from. Who wouldn’t be a bit depressed in that sort of an environment?

And maybe that’s what makes this film so powerful. If you lived this sort of life, how easy would it be for you to be pushed over the edge? How many of us already do live this sort of life? And how many of us are on the brink of doing nasty things as a result of it?

Moore is fascinating to watch. He takes to this serious role with impressive ease, skilfully portraying the troubled artist, and making the viewer feel uncomfortable throughout. From the awkward conversations with Amber to the more tense, teeth-grinding moments, Moore’s performance is edgy and generally brings the onscreen atmosphere down to a chilling, agitated low.
Hard to believe that he is better known for his lighter, more comedic performances (Avatar, Dodgeball etc).

And the near Hitchcockian skill in which the tension is applied is Spiral‘s main draw. Barely any violence is seen but the suggestion of it is heavy and hard hitting.

Far from being an ‘in your face’, gore filled horror extravaganza, Spiral is a haunting and lumbers up behind the viewer. It’s that tingling feeling on your neck when someone else is behind you.
The climax isn’t astonishing, but will leave you satisfied and to an extent, even more uncomfortable.

Spiral is a well rounded package. Well produced and scary in the way that it looks, sounds and feels.
This is sit on the end of your seat, teeth clenching stuff. Be sure to have some popcorn handy to prefent you from damaging your tooth enamel!

Movie Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

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Tom Atkinson

Tom is one of the editors at Love Horror. He has been watching horror for a worryingly long time, starting on the Universal Monsters and progressing through the Carpenter classics. He has a soft-spot for eighties horror.More

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