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Spiral (2008)

Amber Tamblyn , Zachary Levi , Joel David Moore , Adam Green  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Amber Tamblyn, Zachary Levi, Tricia Helfer, Joel David Moore, Jeremy Danial Boreing
  • Directors: Joel David Moore, Adam Green, Joel Moore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010AN7LS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Widescreen Presentation
  • Audio Commentary with Director Adam Green, Writer-Producer-Director-Actor Joel David Moore, Writer-Producer Jeremy Danial Boreing, Director of Photography Will Barratt, and Actors Amber Tamblyn and Zachary Levi
  • Spinning Spiral: The Making Of Spiral

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


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 disturbed telemarketer/painter, his arrogant longtime friend and boss, and the carefree new co-worker whose love may offer a portrait of normalcy. But in a life scarred by dark secrets, can the truth be the most horrifying pose of all? Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Gallactica co-stars in this acclaimed psychological shocker co-directed by Adam Green and Moore that FrightFest hailed as "almost unbearably tense... a Hitchcock-tail of precision direction and startling imagery packing a final shock punch!"

A moody, low-key indie about isolation and obsession, Spiral marks a reunion of star and co-writer Joel David Moore and co-director Adam Green, whose previous effort was the spastic slasher tribute Hatchet. Moore is very effective as Mason, a withdrawn loner whose penchant for painting portraits of women may hint at a darker secret. An outcast at his dreary day job, he finds a sympathetic friend in a new co-worker (Amber Tamblyn), but Mason's peculiarities soon leave their mark on the relationship. As subdued and thoughtful as Hatchet was crass and loud, Spiral succeeds at creating an unsettling atmosphere (aided in no small part by the ceaseless gloom of its Seattle locations), and if the twist ending isn't terribly surprising, the picture as a whole is an admirable attempt at a thriller driven by psychology rather than pure terror. The DVD includes commentary by Green, Moore, Tamblyn, co-star Zachary Levi (Chuck), co-writer and producer Jeremy Boreing, and director of photography Will Barrett, as well as a making-of featurette and three behind-the-scenes promotional pieces filmed for the Starz Network. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Film With an Identity Crisis (3+ stars) March 19, 2008
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ending Earned This One Another Star May 3, 2008
This film was going to get a three star review from me. The office environment where the main characters work was totally unrealistic. The boss drinks on the job and flirts with his female co-workers to such an extent he would have been fired for sexual harrassment. Mason, the main character, is so strange and unattractive it is hard to believe that the woman he becomes involved with would give him the time of day. This film was very different from "Hatchet". It was slow, moody, and very restrained whereas "Hatchet" was all about excess. I have to say that I was never really bored but I was checking the clock a few times. Then, the last ten minutes of the film hit me and earned this film an extra star. The double-twist ending did pack a punch. I think that it saved this film from mediocrity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiral April 28, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Mason is an introverted artist who is thrust out of his isolated existence by an obnoxious co-worker that has taken a real liking to him. Just as she begins to break down his barriers and he begins to show signs of life while painting her portraits, Amber discovers that she may not be the first person to see the tip of his paintbrush, though she may be the last... Joel David Moore is perfectly fitting as Mason, delivering the cold and empty performance that the role required. The steady build allows Amber and the viewer ample time to get in to Mason's head, but just as he starts to open up to become a likable character, a sudden reveal immediately ramps up the terror and turns the tables on our social misfit. Moore's writing and direction under Adam Green's supervision demonstrate a great deal of potential here, and are aided by crisp visuals and expert framing. Mason's declining mental state is alluded to on screen in a series of visual metaphors seen in the approaching storm, electrical outages, and increasingly shaky camera work. While many of the plot twists are easily predictable, SPIRAL produces a solid psychological thriller based on strong performances and a sound structure.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cold Call Freak February 28, 2008
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
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. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Good Film April 2, 2008
Mason isn't exactly your everyday joe. He's an artist. A sketcher and a painter, but he's also incredibly quiet and tends to keep to himself. He has an office job where he tries to sell car insurance, but he doesn't exactly fit in with others. His only friend(if that's what you want to call him) is Berkeley, the boss. Berkeley comes off like he cares about Mason, but his compassion is overshadowed by the fact that he's a prick. Things start looking up for Mason as he meets Amber. After seeing Mason's sketches and getting to know him a little better, she decides she wants him to paint her. Mason's...odd side starts to reveal itself as he won't let Amber see his sketches. "There are rules," he says, "You can't see it until it's done." As Amber gets closer to Mason, what can he be hiding? Why is he such an "enigma," as Amber put it? Why does he keep having disturbing dreams about another woman?

Where do I start? I actually really liked this. I was expecting to as Adam Green and Joel David Moore were both involved with Hatchet, which is a guilty pleasure of mine. While Hatchet is half comedy and half gorefest, Spiral is more of a dramatic thriller that builds towards the ending. Spiral, while being low budget, is shot in superb fashion. The way its shot is actually its charm. I love the way the camera gets shaky during the scenes where Mason seems like he's going to lose it or when he finally does. Joel David Moore is also in top form here. His talent truly shines in this role. Everything from his body language to the way he chomps his teeth when he gets nervous, he sucks you in. You wind up feeling sorry for Mason even though you know he's twisted in some way. Witnessing his character unveil how dark really is is just amazing. The other actor I was really impressed with was Zachary Levi.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bare bones blu-ray
The movie is thrilling psychology and has a unique and original plot but the Blu-ray is bate bones with no menu screen or extras. I would recommend the DVD for sure.
Published 3 months ago by Nathan Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film in its composition and story
I have had to re-purchase this film because every time I loan it out it never comes back, or that person wants to share it with others so it takes months to retrieve
Published 7 months ago by genevieve eigner
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiral
Very interesting psychological thriller. I enjoyed seeing a young, and beautiful Amber Tamblyn in a show I missed along the way.
Published 9 months ago by FastFreddie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
It's hard to describe this movie! Awesome twist ending. Days later I am still trying to figure out how I feel but I was definitely amazed!
Published 10 months ago by Sahsha States
I've given my rating careful consideration but after the disappointing experience I had attempting to watch this, I wanted to offer my opinion as a warning. Read more
Published 10 months ago by W Mianecke
This was actually a good movie. The acting was exceptional. The music was on point. I did have the ending figured out early on after having seen a similar movie some time ago. Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. Childers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for Amber Tamblyn....Zero for the film
This movie is just down right terrible. It's boring and the plot doesn't make one bit of sense. It's just a long drug out piece of crap. ...BUT... Read more
Published 17 months ago by SideshowBob
4.0 out of 5 stars Average, thus better than expected
I wasn't expecting very much from this movie, in fact I thought it would be pretty bad. Instead it was average, not great but at least enjoyable. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Matt Hausig
5.0 out of 5 stars ZACHARY LEVI!
I am a huge Zachary Levi fan and have been a Joel David Moore fan since Dodgeball. I saw on IMDb stuff about this, but never really had any interest in it. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Lauren
1.0 out of 5 stars Uninteresting
I found this movie very uninteresting. It never piqued my interested and I only continued watching because of this obligation. Read more
Published 22 months ago by D. Frazier
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Topic From this Discussion
What was the significance of ...
The only thing I could think of was that it was meant to put a surreal spin on things to heighten the question of whether the events near the end really took place. However, I also got the impression that the power outages were meant to be a realistic portrayal of what happens in that region (I... Read More
Mar 13, 2008 by GB Banks (publisher, author) |  See all 2 posts
*Spoiler*: Question about the mother & other girls
I believe Mason's father returned the postcards because Mason DID kill his mother (his father's wife). Also, consider the scene at the cemetery. Was Mason viewing a current burial or reflecting on his own childhood (suggested by the long eye-to-eye stare with the young boy)? Obviously, his... Read More
Aug 5, 2012 by DJ Scan |  See all 2 posts
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