★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ Spiral: From the Book of Saw attempts a fresh start to a somewhat tired franchise, and packs in A-list celebrities into a pedestrian plot, that ties itself up with too much exposition and not enough of the tricks and traps that made Saw such a draw.
The Saw franchise is getting a new twist as it is being produced, written, and starring Chris Rock. Yes, THAT Chris Rock. Oh, and some guy named Samuel L. Jackson. Him too. A potentially great career move for Rock, in a series that suggests that still has some legs left. (Though given that it's Saw, those legs may be gone by the end.)
In the sophisticated current age of genre fare, black characters are getting meatier and more significant roles in horror feature films. It hasn't always been that way though. In Episode 90, The Scariest Things discusses the pioneers of black horror cinema, as well as some of the new faces looking to move the genre forward.