Spiral – Film Review

Spiral is a new horror film set in the mid 90’s that focuses on a same-sex couple moving to a small town with their teenage daughter. While everything starts off peaceful, it’s not long before the family begin to experience unusual activities around the neighbourhood.

Malik (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) and his life partner Aaron (Ari Cohn) relocate to a small and quiet town with Aaron’s teenage daughter Kayla (Jennifer Laporte). Having a fresh new start, everyone begins to unpack, adding their belongings to give the home a nice personal and warm family touch. As Malik goes through his belongings, he comes across items from his past when he was a young adult, suddenly experiencing some hauntingly creepy flashbacks of his ex-boyfriend being brutally beaten by a group of men.

Shaking things off, the family set up around the house and are greeted by their next door neighbour Tiffany (Chandra West) who mistakenly refers to Malik as the family’s gardener. Aaron corrects Tiffany to tell her that Malik is his partner, which leaves the neighbour shocked but intrigued, commenting, “We don’t have many of you in town.” This exchange comes off as somewhat racist towards Mailk and also prejudice to the same-sex couple. Either way, this moment shows an example of how people were like back in the 90’s, a time when there wasn’t much of a filter for anything that came out offensive, nor an understanding for those who were different in comparison to the social norm.

While the family try to fit into their new neighbourhood, things don’t get easier for Malik as he becomes suspicious of his new neighbours after seeing some abnormal activity. Trying to protect his family, things begin to spiral for Malik as he haunted by both his past and his new strange neighbours.

Spiral is a perfect film for fans of horror, who enjoy a good twist. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. As a fan, I have admired Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman since his role in UnREAL and I’m really glad he’s still effortlessly playing a strong queer role on-screen.

Spiral is part of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
For more information, visit: https://mqff.com.au

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