February 24th, 2008

SPIRAL (2008) *

The boys from Hatchet return with another horror flick that’s a complete 180 from their previous film.  While Hatchet was a one-note but fun horror flick that was packed to the gills with humor and gore, this is a one-note, tedious horror movie that features annoying characters, tedious plotting, and predictable plot twists. 


Joel David Moore stars as an awkward jazz obsessed asthmatic artist who works as a telemarketer by day and slowly goes crazy by night.  A cute co-worker (Amber Tamblyn) does everything but throw herself at him to get his attention until he finally agrees to paint her portrait.  This leads to their predictable courtship that turns sour when she finds out about his other models, all of whom have mysteriously turned up missing.  


Unlike Hatchet, which was cheerfully self referential and fun, Spiral is so self important that it’ll make you cringe.  All the characters are your standard issue Central Casting rejects.  Smug self-centered best friend?  Check.  Snarky overweight co-workers?  Gotcha.  Uncomfortable in his own skin psychopath?  Uh-huh.  But the most grating character is Tamblyn.  She is the most clichéd Hollywood version of a “normal” girl next door you’ve seen in awhile and her over the top “Gee look at me, I’m a spunky chick” routine gets old pretty fast.  It’s not Tamblyn’s fault because the character is so thinly written that you’ll be wishing that Moore will go ahead and kill her already.  Moore fares no better.  In Hatchet, Moore was likable as the goofy hero, but here he is woefully miscast as the slow burning lunatic with artistic aspirations. 


Moore co-directed the film with Adam Green (who directed Hatchet solo), and this film makes it perfectly clear that he should keep his scrawny ass behind the camera at all times.  Maybe then he can concentrate more on his acting (he was great in Dodgeball) and less on boring me to death with his lethargic pacing.  Moore also came up with the twist ending, which any non-retarded audience member will see coming from a mile away.  The irritating, incessant jazz score does not help matters any either. 


Tamblyn gets the lone memorable line of dialogue when she says, “Are you doubting my gypsy blood?”