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Arts and Entertainment

Movie Review: Spiral

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Photo courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

Joel David Moore is one of those character actors whose name you can never place but whose face you recognize instantly. He often works in broad comedies (Dodgeball, Grandma's Boy) and--let's be honest--his characters are usually not the sharpest tools in the shed. Given all that, I was surprised by the radical and dark departure taken in his latest film, Spiral, in which Moore not only acts, but co-writes, co-directs and produces. It's a thriller in the classic sense--more Rear Window than Untraceable--and relies heavily on a tightening, claustrophobic mood for its suspense. Some might find it slow; I found it refreshing.

Moore plays Mason, a decided loner working as a telemarketer in your typical, faceless corporate office. The only friend he seems to have there is his callow boss Berkeley (Zachary Levi) with whom he shares an inexplicable bond. They're a strange match: Mason is barely socially coherent while Berkeley is a suave, misogynist shark. Of course, everything changes one day when the pathologically ebullient Amber (Amber Tamblyn) curiously decides to befriend Mason while he's sifting through another lonely lunch. He's naturally defensive at first, but eventually she finds a way to burrow into his life and soon they are friends.