Mag Fest 2020: SPIRALing Out of Control

This film makes its Mississippi premiere on Thursday, February 29th at UEC Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville, MS.

To view the full lineup of films and purchase tickets, visit

Since the release of the amazing film Get Out everyone has been trying to cash in on this concept of the “social thriller”. We’ve experienced a lot of great films out of this subgenre, but I feel like we have been getting further and further away from the “thriller” and more towards the “social” aspects… Spiral brings them both together in a natural and scary way. A way that can feel too real at points, but it never sacrifices its watchability to force a message. It treats its characters and its audience with respect, forcing you to make your own assumptions about how and why you feel the way you do. But before I get too far ahead of myself, here is a brief synopsis:

A same-sex couple move to a small town so they can enjoy a better quality of life and raise their 16 year-old daughter with the best social values. But nothing is as it seems in their picturesque neighborhood. And when Malik sees the folks next door throwing a very strange party, something very shocking has got to give.

As much as I (and everyone else) have compared this film to Get Out, Spiral happily wears its influences on its sleeve. It pulls from everything from Rear Window to Thesis and does it as well. The choice to make the film take place in the 90s is genius. It’s a natural way to build tension by placing a gay couple with a child in the suburbs at this time. For anyone who grew up in this era and in this kind of community, you know that people were less than welcoming. What is even scarier is that the neighbors are almost “too accepting”. I don’t want to delve too deep and ruin the third act, but come out to the 23rd annual Magnolia Film Festival and see for yourself.

Blaine McLaren
Blaine McLaren was born in Texas, but has called Atlanta his home for over 20 years. He has spent a lifetime obsessed with cinematic oddities, with a soft spot for rubber monster flicks and gore soaked head scratchers. He is the lead writer and owner of and is a regular contributor for multiple sites and podcasts.
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