Literally dropping off the radar for 3 years until now, Spiral was released in 2007 but has only just received a straight-to-DVD honour in the UK. I have no idea why it took so long, but it’s nothing worth fighting over if that was the case with distributors.
Joel Moore (better known as the slightly envious Norm Spellman in Avatar) plays Mason, a loner telemarketer and talented artist who sees his boss as his best and only friend. Mason isn’t… normal. He has nightmares about women, and rings his boss up in the middle of the night to tell him about it. He shuns any attempt of conversation, and keeps himself to himself. But one day, he is approached by Amber (by the actress named Amber Tamblyn) who makes small talk about his drawings. They become close, and Amber ends up posing for Masons artwork. But when she discovers she isn’t the first girl to have posed for him, in the exact same ways, things start to spiral out of hers, and Masons, control…
I don’t know if I fully “got” this movie, but there didn’t seem to be too much to understand. It was basically an attempted character study of the social misfit; stereotyped of course. But I got no idea of the reasons why he felt like that. He was just instantly introduced as a timid, reclusive guy and not really giving a back story or reasoning. Before Amber enters, there are a couple of well directed scenes that show us that he does have inner demons, but again, they are very ambiguous, leaving a lot of the story to be filled by how the viewer desires.
What really drags the narrative down though is the unbelievable nature of Amber and Mason. They are TOTALLY different persona’s: two people like that would never get together in real life, simply because they would get fed up of Mason’s depressive ways quickly. His boss did, who acts like a jerk to his face but does it “for his own good”. And I know I did, and I only watched him for half an hour.
That half an hour seemed longer though: this movie is SLOW. I seriously misjudged the genre and atmosphere from the trailer, although I think it’s an easy mistake to make. It shows most of the events that happen in the last 20 minutes, and the first hour or so is just building up the characters, who don’t really need 60 minutes to be built up. Especially one of them, but that’s all I’m saying.
The ending.. I had mixed feelings for. Yes, there are twists. Blatent, obvious twists that are visible from 10 minutes in. Those twists end up being correct, BUT they are twisted again. It sounds complicated, but that’s all this movie tries to be; vague plot points and long drawn out scenes give the impression you’re watching something fresh and new, but really it’s all been done before.