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Spiral ending explained by Saw director Darren Lynn Bousman

Chris Rock and Marisol Nichols in Spiral
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Spiral: From the Book of Saw has finally reached cinemas, bringing about the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. As made clear before the movie was released, Spiral centers on a new set of characters, with the franchise’s key villain, Jigsaw, only being referenced throughout.

So, how does Spiral wrap up? And what does the Spiral ending mean for the future of the Saw movies? We spoke to director Darren Lynn Bousman about his new horror – but first… **Spoiler warning! The following contains details about the Spiral ending!**

Samuel L. Jackson in Spiral

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Still here? Then you have discovered the identity of the Spiral killer. No, not Samuel L. Jackson, but Max Minghella’s Detective William Schenk, whose father was killed by crooked coppers. Chris Rock’s Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks is offered the chance to work with Schenk, but refuses after seeing his own father, Jackson’s Marcus Banks, the former police chief who helped cover up crimes committed by his force, being slowly drained of blood in the movie’s final trap. Using the last bullet inside a gun, Zeke manages to stop the blood being drained from his father, but lets Schenk free. And, in one last twist, Jackson’s character is killed by his own police officers after raising his hands up and pleading innocent.

It’s brutal and all happens incredibly fast, wrapping up the movie in under an hour and a half. “I always love movies that make you be like, ‘Wait, that is over? What the fuck what just happened?’” Bousman tells GamesRadar+ and Total Film. 

“This is maybe weird, but silence at the end of the movie… I remember when I watched Reservoir Dogs. It ends and you hear them yelling, and then they all shoot each other. And then it goes to black and you hear, ‘You put the lime in the coconut’ and the song comes on. And I'm like, ‘What, that's it? I love that feeling.”

Bousman adds that he wanted to end Spiral on the “most dynamic moment” in the movie. “One of the things that I really liked about this is that, throughout the movie, you see the pig marionette,” he says. “And it doesn't really make sense. I mean, yes, he's a pig. And I guess the audience is going to get that cops are sometimes called pigs. But he's a marionette puppet. And then, that very last shot of Marcus Banks raising up and then he becomes the puppet with a gun. The first time you see the marionette, it's telegraphed. You see the little puppet and he raises his gun. He's telegraphing what's going to happen to Marcus. 

“So I love that it ends with Marcus being raised up, the gun comes out, he gets shot, and then boom, it's over. Because again, you want to leave them wanting more. And I think that that, to me, is a cool thing. And it also if there is more, and hopefully fans respond, they'll get to see what happens after that scene.”

During the same interview, Bousman said that, if audiences turn up, there could very well be a second Spiral movie – and even a potential Jigsaw 2, continuing the story of the other Saw movies. Read the full Spiral interview through that link. And for more, check out the best horror movies of all time.

I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. I look after all the Total Film and SFX articles that end up on the website