Spiral: From the Book of Saw appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The movie boasted a pleasing Dolby Vision image.
Overall sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness materialized in tihs accurate presentation.
I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to become an issue.
In terms of palette, Spiral went with a highly stylized palette that mixed yellows, greens, reds, purples, blues and ambers. The disc reproduced these as intended, and the disc’s HDR added impact and range to the tones.
Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. HDR made whites and contrast look broader and more impressive. I felt happy with this high-quality presentation.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack added involvement to the proceedings. The channels used music in an involving manner, and various effects also broadened the soundscape in a winning way.
While not a film packed with action, Spiral came to life enough to work the speakers well. Various horror elements related to the thrills moved around the room in a convincing pattern to contribute life to the tale.
Audio quality worked well. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and natural. Louder moments boasted fine punch.
Music was warm and full, with a good level of punch from percussive elements. All of this left us with a satisfactory “B+” soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both came with the same Atmos audio.
A native 4K production, the Dolby Vision image boasted improved accuracy, colors and blacks compared to the Blu-ray. The latter looked good, but it couldn’t compete with the 4K.
A few extras appear here, and we get two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from Director Darren Lynn Bousman, Co-Writer Josh Stolberg and Composer Charlie Clouser, all of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters and connections to the rest of the Saw universe, sets and locations, cast and performances, editing, deleted scenes and fights with the MPAA, photography and visual design, music and audio, effects, and connected domains.
Expect a strong commentary here, one made more interesting by Bousman's increasing anger as the track progresses. He alludes to a fair amount of studio interference and frequently discusses changes made to the film that he didn't choose.
At the start, Bousman treats these issues with a wink, as though he doesn't really feel bothered by them but he'll facetiously play up his annoyance. He makes joking references to "Director's Cuts" so long that it will require dozens of discs.
However, as the movie goes along, he gets more and more aggravated and it becomes clear that he really does feel pretty cheesed off about all these changes. Even without Bousman's unusually honest attitude, this would be a highly informative track, but his gradual path toward full boil makes it more interesting.
For the second commentary, we hear from producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg. Both sit together for their own running, screen-specific look at story/characters, music, cast and performances, sets and locations, and related areas.
You win some, you lose some. The first commentary became a big win, whereas the second falls into "lose" territory.
Yeesh, what a dull chat! The producers tell us little of interest, as they mostly praise the movie's participants. Add to that lots of dead air and this becomes a commentary largely devoid of informational and/or entertainment value. Skip it and you'll miss nothing.
In addition to two trailers, video programs follow, and The Consequences of Your Actions offers a five-part documentary that spans a total of 59 minutes, five seconds. Across these clips, we hear from Bousman, Stolberg, Burg, Koules, Clouser, executive producers Daniel Jason Heffnerand Jason Constantine, co-writer Peter Goldfinger, co-producer Ketura Kestin, cinematographer Jordan Oram, editor Dev Singh, and actors Chris Rock, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols.
“Actions” covers the progression of the Saw franchise and what eventually led to Spiral, Rock’s involvement, cast and performances, Bousman’s approach to the material, story areas and changes made along the way, photography and visual design, the torture traps, editing, music, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the film’s release.
Overall, “Actions” offers a good look at the production, though it tends to lose some steam as it goes. The documentary starts well but seems a bit less informative along the way. Still, it provides a pretty informative take on the flick and definitely merits a look.
Drawing Inspiration lasts eight minutes, 45 seconds and delivers notes from Bousman as he provides a telestrator-abetted examination of two of the movie’s “traps”. We get a useful exploration of the sequence.
Finally, Decoding the Marketing runs six minutes, 12 seconds and provides statements from Constantine, Bousman, Burg, and Koules. They look at advertising across the Saw franchise and this becomes a solid little piece.
A second disc brings a Blu-ray copy of Spiral. It includes the same extras as the 4K.
An offshoot of the Saw franchise, Spiral comes with more star power than any of its predecessors. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it a good film, as it manages moderate entertainment at best due to its many flaws. The 4K UHD boasts strong picture and audio as well as a mix of mostly appealing bonus materials. Maybe established Saw buffs will dig Spiral, but the film seems unlikely to attract new fans.
To rate this film visit the prior review of SPIRAL