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Spiral
Spiral
Actors: Amber Tamblyn, Zachary Levi, Tricia Helfer, Joel David Moore, Jeremy Danial Boreing
Director: Joel David Moore;Adam Green;Joel Moore
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2008     1hr 31min

AN ALL NEW DESCENT INTO TERROR FROM THE DIRECTOR AND STAR OF HATCHET — Joel David Moore stars with Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia and THE GRUDGE 2) in the harrowing story of a shy and possibly distu...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Amber Tamblyn, Zachary Levi, Tricia Helfer, Joel David Moore, Jeremy Danial Boreing
Director: Joel David Moore;Adam Green;Joel Moore
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/19/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Cold Call Freak
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 02/29/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Anchor Bay's new release of 2007's "Spiral" is touted as a "Hitchcock-Tale" on the DVD cover. But this is no "Hitchcock". "Spiral" does contain some good acting, a few great shots of Portland, and a cute trick ending. Mason(Joel David Moore) is a slouchy loser who loves jazz and sells insurance over the phone. He appears to enjoy painting women. He's often nervous, and there's a room in his apartment he refuses to enter. What could be in there? Mason is a loner, and his only friend at work is his boss, Berkeley(Zachary Levi). One day, a young woman named Amber(Amber Tamblyn) sits beside Mason at lunch. They become friends. Mason convinces her to pose for a painting. Clothes are optional. But his behavior becomes erratic, and Amber begins to suspect that Mason may be dangerous. "Spiral" Star Joel David Moore doesn't quite cut it in the leading role here. Though effective, his twitchy learing is too one-dimensional to carry this movie. Amber Tambly is fine as the girl, but a stronger director might have molded a stronger performance. However, Zachary Levi, as Berkeley, is poised and well-timed, confident and cool. The "Spiral" screenplay is spotty. It lacks motivation. Why is Mason's telemarketer-boss his friend and protector? Mason reveals no compassion to warrant such friendship. His basic emotion is contempt. And why is the young Amber attracted to the skinny, awkward geek? Promos reveal "Spiral" as a feature-length indie adapted from a 13-minute short. The budget is small, and sometimes it looks it. The highlight of "Spiral" occurs half-way, as a huge tracking shot, from a roof-top party, displays a colorful night-time panorama of Portland. The DVD has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TV's. The image is sharp and clear, with no grain or defects from the source material. Colors are good. Mason's hallucination scenes provide a nice blend of surround and subwoofer effects. Extras include an audio commentary with the director, producer, and writer, "Spinning Spiral: The Making of Spiral( 8 minutes)", "Cinefile Promo", and three trailers. Amber Tamblyn is managed by her father, actor Russ Tamblyn, who zoomed to fame by starring in 1961's classic "West Side Story". Russ Tamblyn appears in this film as an extra."
A Film With an Identity Crisis (3+ stars)
Debbie Lee Wesselmann | the Lehigh Valley, PA | 03/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Spiral" doesn't seem to know what kind of film it wants to be. Horror? Psychological thriller? A relationship film? A commentary about misfits? The unfolding of this story of socially inept Mason and the girl he hopes will "be the one" is slow and deliberate, with some scenes between them painfully awkward. There are undercurrents of madness, obsession, and psychological torment, although these all have a vagueness that never sharpens into the horror suggested by the film's trailer.

Despite the flaws, "Spiral" remains an interesting film. Joel David Moore seems to get inside Mason's skin, although he overdoes Mason's tortured personality so it hardly seems believable that he hangs out with the people he does. Amber Tamblyn is thoroughly likeable as . . . Amber, but the chemistry between her and Moore never quites succeeds. The cinematography is adept, with its hues of orange and red, and the use of rain.

The extras offer nothing special (except the trailer, which is interesting only because it splices all the tense moments into a minute that perhaps bests the film itself).

This film is a decent way to spend an evening, but I don't recommend going out of your way to see it."
Wow, this is just a terrible movie
G. Swift | Southwestern Missouri | 03/04/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I don't like to pan products which I find of poor quality, I usually just keep my trap shut. However, as I watched this movie as part of the Amazon Vine Program, I felt it behooved me to offer an honest review of it.

This movie is really not worth the time or money you would spend to watch it. The acting is passable if uninspired, with the protagonist being the best we get. He does a fair job of portraying a disturbed artist, but the background of the character is so fragile and thin and arrives so late that it makes the story a failure. The relationships are terribly developed, and would make the people in them suicidal should they exist in real life. The total apathy and disregard the supporting cast feels towards the protagonist for most of the film is depressing. I actually liked the character of the best friend, who displays some compassion as he describes why he is the main character's friend.

The story purports to have a twist at the end, which is very poorly executed and not at all surprising, and would have been so either way it could have gone. There is nothing in the cinematography that is remarkable, and the semi-focus on jazz music is incomplete when it could have been used as a real focus of the plot. The soundtrack is uninspired and the overall feeling I had after viewing the movie was disappointment. While the story had some real potential, it was just poorly executed and fell short of what I could recommend to others. Classid Hitchcock movies are far superior in all ways."
Nice college try. . .
M. Desoer | Bay Area, California | 03/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know why this is labelled a "horror" movie; it is not -- which was a relief because I don't like horror movies -- but is more of a student-film version at a psychological thriller. Sorry, but it really comes off as a film school project, albeit better than most. The writing isn't bad, and the storyline is interesting, if not a tad predictable.

The problem with this film is that, other than the probably-Aspergers protagonist (and this is NOT a dig at people with Aspergers, but an observation), I did not get the other characters' motivations. Why does the boss/best friend, who thinks he is "Mr. Cool," hang around with him? There seems to be some bond from the past, but we never find out their history. And why does Amber, who is a little odd, but a cute, fun girl become enamored with this weird guy?

The film tries a little too hard at times to be "artsy". It is just too obvious that everything in the workplace is shot in shades of grey and beige. Of course those colors work well also in the dreary, rainy backdrop of Portland, but it was just so predictable, especially in light of the reds and greens that dominate the paintings.

That being said, I was somewhat surprised at most of what happens in the end, so the film was worth watching... And I would encourage the creators (writer, directors, etc.) to keep working on their art; there definitely was some budding talent here."