Spiral Adam Green and Joel David Moore

Spiral Adam Green and Joel David Moore
Adam Green and Joel David Moore return after Hatchet to see if they can strike while the iron’s hot. While Green was the genius behind that lovable old school horror flick, it’s Moore who steps up as the creative force here, working as the co-director, co-writer and lead actor in Spiral, a psychological thriller that puts his gangly frame to hard work. Moore stars as Mason, the biggest loser you could imagine, who just survives work days at his telemarketing job, thanks to buddy Berkeley (Chuck’s Zachary Levi), and obsessively compulsively paints his muses at night. But there’s something a little off about Mason, and the proof seems to be in his well-lit but hidden bathroom. One day, Amber (Joan of Arcadia’s Amber Tamblyn) appears and takes an unusual interest in Mason. She quickly befriends him, without anyone’s notice, and becomes his friend-cum-muse. One thing leads to another and, well, disaster strikes — we think. Spiral is a well-planned, modern day Hitchcock homage that, unfortunately, often shoots like a five-year-old on a pro basketball court. It has high hopes but often the creative choices let it down: clichéd debilitating asthma attacks, inserting a sad little kid to mirror Mason as a youngster, far too many shots of Moore looking as if all he needs is a good meal. While it holds you till the very end with a decent twist, Green and Moore execute the film with such blandness — the emo number scoring the final shot is outright laughable — that it’s hard to believe these were the same guys that left us hanging in Hatchet with a severed arm. Disappointing, no less, but thankfully the gang commentary cleans up any questions you have for the film, using some very self-deprecating and humble observations. Let’s hope whatever they have planned next involves less psychological exploration and more blood loss and annihilation. Nice try, though. (Anchor Bay)