Spiral is an eerily creepy thriller that will keep you feeling uneasy throughout.
Spiral is from Incontrol director Kurtis David Harder, starring American Horror Story’s Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Stephen King’s It’s Ari Cohen, Clinger’s Jennifer Laporte, and veteran character actor Lochlyn Munro. Spiral follows a same-sex couple that moves to a small town to improve their quality of life, only for Malik to believe something more sinister is going on next door.
Spiral sees Malik (Bowyer-Chapman) and Aaron (Cohen) move with their teenage daughter Kayla (Laporte) to a picturesque neighborhood to improve their lives, with a better social world outside of the big city. Once here Aaron starts his new life, while Malik the writer spends most of his time in the house, where he is dealing with his own nightmares of a hate crime that seems to be coming towards him again, trying to understand what happened to the only other same-sex couple that once lived in the town.
Spiral is filled with unease, which is highlighted in different strange occurrences going on, be it strange parties, visions, or people following around the town, while also having the undertone of hate crime in a similar vein as Get Out. We get the fine line of seeing how one person could just be losing their mind though, which teases us with where the story could go. Kayla is dealing with plenty of the growing up stages, meeting a guy while trying to forget her time in the big city.
Spiral does have a strong leading performance from Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman as a man that has been through a horrific hate crime, which he shows still haunting him, just like we see anyone that is a withdrawn author that gets captured in researching the new town, looking for the truth. Ari Cohen does everything right, though his character is the more grounded, getting on with everyday life figure, while Jennifer Laporte fills the teenager role that is looking to grow up faster than she is ready for. Lochlyn Munro and Chandra West show us the overly friendly neighbors, which get seen through the different eyes of different members of the family.
Spiral uses the environment to add the tension the film requires, with one sequence on a bridge giving us a feeling like we are watching a part of It Follows, while the watching scenes show us just how the town seems to have things going on in secret. When we are inside the home, we get to see how the more supernatural events might be happening, with most of the unusual moments from Malik’s perspective.
Overall Spiral is a thriller that will keep us guessing to what is going on from start to finish, managing to make the world look normal to some of the characters, while another believes something isn’t right. We have great performances, with the cinematography being used to up the intensity of the scenes.
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