SPIRAL is a new Shudder horror-thriller with an LGBT twist. There are so many creepy elements in this movie that toys a lot with its audience as well. A few missteps do not take away from a very accomplished movie. Read our Spiral review here!

SPIRAL is a new Shudder horror-thriller that works with both mind games and survival elements. Also, there is an LGBT twist since the main characters are two men in a relationship. They’ve just moved out of the city and into a more rural area with their teenage daughter/step-daughter. Not an easy step to make.

For the record, this movie does also have an end credit scene, so please stick around for that. If you’ve been paying attention to the plot (which means: put your phone away) then you might be able to guess what it will show!

Continue reading our Spiral (2019) movie review below.

Smalltown American in 1995

The story in Spiral plays out in 1995 in a small town in the United States. Just to set the stage, Ellen DeGeneres came out on the cover of Time in April of 1997. Basically, being out and proud was not easy in 1995. Especially for men since being a gay man was immediately linked with AIDS and HIV.

However, Spiral is not about homophobia or gay-bashing. This is not that kind of movie. Oh no, we’re dealing with mind games of a totally different caliber.

Basically, imagine Get Out but with LGBT people instead of black people. No, this isn’t a spoiler since they’re not trying to take over their “LGBT powers”. This is at the height of the AIDS awareness era, remember. Instead, we’re dealing with people being too nice in unexpected ways which immediately awakens suspicions.

As it should – and every horror fan knows this!

Spiral – Shudder Movie Review

The cast of Spiral

Before getting into the cast of Spiral, I do have to mention the fact that it is quite unfortunate with this title. After all, a new Saw movie is due out in 2021 with the same title. Out of these two, the Saw franchise will win the “ownership” of that particular title though its full title will be Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021).

In any case, the cast of the Spiral Shudder movie is full of both familiar and fresh faces.

The lead character, Malik, is portrayed by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman who you might recognize from UnREAL or American Horror Story (Season 8). He does a great job in this role! As his partner – since same-sex marriage was nowhere near legal in 1995 – is Ari Cohen. He played Rabbi Uris (Stanley’s dad) in IT.

The teenage daughter is played by Jennifer Laporte (West of Hell) who does a wonderful job. And the next-door neighbors are portrayed by Lochlyn Munro (Riverdale, The Predator) and Chandra West (Z, White Noise). Their son in the movie is played by Ty Wood who you’ll recognize from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Watch Spiral on Shudder!

The script was written by Colin Minihan and John Poliquin. Especially Colin Minihan is a writer whose movies I will always want to check out. I tend to prefer when he both writes and directs as he did with What Keeps You Alive and It Stains the Sands Red.

What Keeps You Alive came out on Netflix recently and went straight into the Top 10. However, Colin Minihan did also write Still/Born which I really liked and that one was co-written and directed by Brandon Christensen. In other words, having another director can work just fine.

You might like: Our review of the horror movie Still/Born here >

For Spiral, the director is Kurtis David Harder. He’s been a producer on most of Colin Minihan’s previous movies (or produced scripts), so the two are already very familiar with one another. Overall, I feel that Spiral worked really well on so many levels.

So much so that I want to give it a full 4 out of 5 despite being closer to a 3½. The movie is a tad too long and the chronology twists do not work in its favor (as far as I’m concerned anyway). Still, I would definitely recommend that you check out this movie on Shudder as soon as possible.

Spiral is out on Shudder from September 17, 2020.


Director: Kurtis David Harder
Writers: Colin Minihan, John Poliquin
Stars: Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Ari Cohen, Jennifer Laporte, Lochlyn Munro, Chandra West, Ty Wood


Malik and Aaron, a same-sex couple, move to a small town in search of a better environment for them and their 16-year-old daughter. But nothing is as it seems as something sinister lies behind the picturesque homes and welcoming faces of their new neighbors.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard