FrightFest 2019: The Grump Of Horror Reviews ‘Spiral’

A gay couple and their daughter move to a new life in a small town. However, one of them, Malik, begins to suspect something is not right in the town…

I’ve seen a number of films where the ending gets it wrong. It does something that undo’s a lot of good things in the film. Sometimes the ending is way overblown compared to the events in the rest of the film. Some endings are controversial. Some have made me angry in all manner of ways.

Spiral’s ending made me angry…and I loved it.

Spiral was written by Colin Minihan (who’s made several films, including the impressive It Stains The Sands Red) and John Poliquin. It’s a film that works best knowing little as you watch it. I could reference possible influences on the film (which I did Tweet after seeing the film), but I think in doing that, it might give away plot developments or hint at where the film is going.

But as I said, going in knowing little as possible will make it a rewarding film.

Spiral is directed by Kurtis David Harder, who made the interesting Sci-Fi film, InControl, a film I enjoyed at FrightFest in 2017. Harder directs the film very well, slowly turning the screw, building the tension leading to that ending, which is right for the film and the themes that run through the story, even if I hated it.

The cast are first rate. Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman plays Malik, the man who beings to suspect that the people in town have secrets. But his own past clouds his mind after watching his then boyfriend, when a teen, being beaten to death. He’s very good in the role, trying to uncover what is going on, without really understanding the horrible truth to come. Ari Cohen plays his partner and he too is very good, as is Jennifer Laporte as their daughter, Kayla. There is also strong support from Lochlyn Munro as the leader in the small community, Chandra West as his wife and Ty Wood as their son.

There are a couple of issues, but again it is difficult to go into that, without giving too much away. What I will say however, is that film doesn’t suffer for them. They are likely issues that might come to mind after.

The very end, considering the story as it plays out hints, is a clever one indeed. It does leave it open ended as to what might happen after, but as a film, it doesn’t need a sequel or follow-up.

I really enjoyed this film. It was one, I admit, I wasn’t sure about and did consider missing it. I’m glad I didn’t. It’s a compelling mystery horror, that has a pay off that will hurt but is right for the film.

Spiral is a compelling film, one that if you are fan of small towns and communities with secrets, is well worth visiting…but leaving might be an issue…

Rating: **** out of 5

About Bill

Founder/Head Writer of The Horrorcist.

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