LKMYNTS: Spiral.

For this Little Known Movies You Need To See, I give you Spiral. It's (semi-)directed by the same guy who made Hatchet, and it stars the same guy from that, as well (actually, I think this one is moreso directed by said actor as his debut, with help from the previous director). And it's nothing like Hatchet. This movie is about Mason (Joel Moore), a extremely introverted painter with an anxiety disorder who works for an auto insurance telemarketing company. All he eats is peanut butter, apples, and milk. All he paints is women in apparently the same poses. He only has one friend in the world, who also happens to be his boss, Berkeley (Zachary Levi). After a devastating event where it seems Mason might have killed someone, he becomes plagued by nightmares and hallucinations of a waitress that tend to send him into panic attacks, forcing him to grab his inhaler. But then he meets Amber (Amber Tamblyn), a friendly new employee with an interest in getting to know Mason better. Slowly, they become closer and Mason even opens up a bit more... but Amber doesn't realize how extreme Mason's psychological problems are.

The best thing about this movie is how it keeps you guessing. You might think you've got it figured out, but it will still throw you for a loop. In fact, the ending totally makes the movie. And even after you learn the supposed truth, it's still ambiguous enough for you to look at clues throughout the rest of the movie that could negate even that. It's a total mind-freak. It's a very well-written movie.

And on top of the writing, the acting is superb. Between this, Hatchet, and Avatar (he was the jealous scientist friend), I'm going to really be keeping an eye on Joel Moore (he was also in Dodgeball, but, well, yeah). He's very disturbing in this movie, and you never know how he's going to react to something. I also hardly recognized Zachary Levi. I've only seen one episode of Chuck, but he looks completely different, and his character is totally different. Especially in the latter half of this movie (and the ending), Levi is great. And then you have Amber Tamblyn, who portrays pretty much the perfect girl. She's goofy, quirky, fun, pretty, and incredibly patient. She's almost too patient, actually. I actually wondered at a couple points why she was even bothering with Mason, who at first doesn't even seem to want to give her the light of day and is incredibly socially awkward. Anyway, what I find funny is how this movie is populated primarily with TV actors (there's even an appearance by Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica), yet the acting is (sometimes infinitely) better than most Hollywood movies out there.

If there's anything negative about the movie, it's its slowness. The beginning is incredibly slow and slightly repetitive. It takes a while for you to get into the movie or care about what's going on. But once Mason starts to open up to Amber, it gets better. It just takes a while to get there, like I said. But totally stick with it--it's worth it.

One last thing I want to bring up is the poster. I noticed this while looking through movies to watch. There are at least 2 other movie posters that look exactly like this one. Well, technically, this movie's poster looks like the others, as the other movies came out first. Still, get some originality here. Check out the one up above for this movie, then check these out:

Anyway, definitely check this movie out. You can find it on Netflix Instant Streaming. There is great acting, great writing, and a mind-bender ending. Just stick with it if you think it's starting off slowly, though. Oh, and I didn't even mention the soundtrack. There is a ton of jazz music throughout the movie as Mason is a huge jazz fanatic. He's always listening to jazz records, so you hear it that way, but you'll also hear it as part of the actual soundtrack as well. Even if you don't particularly like jazz, you'll learn to like it within the movie.

A Keanu 'Whoa'


  1. I just picked up Spiral for 50 cents... can't wait to check it out now.

  2. The trailer intrigued me, so I rented the movie. It was exactly what I had hoped for. This movie reveals to us from the very beginning that the main character is a dangerous and disturbed man.


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