Spiral: Chris Rock, Darren Lynn Bousman discuss Saw's 'gory yet funny' latest chapter

The Saw movies have become one of the most successful horror movie franchises of all time, pulling in over NZ$1 billion at the global box office.

Once thought dead and buried, the franchise is roaring back to life in cinemas this week with a reboot spearheaded by an unlikely hero - comedian Chris Rock.

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw is the ninth movie in the franchise and is based on an idea from Rock, who also executive produces the film and is its lead star.

While he isn't exactly known for horror movies, Saw fans can rest assured his heart is in the right place.

"I've always been a fan of the Saw movies. I mean the thing everybody likes about them is these traps," Rock told Newshub.

"Honestly I think no matter who's in the movie, the traps are the star."

As for his favourite classic Saw trap?

"I think the needles, the pit of needles - remember that one? That one's the scariest to me."

Chris Rock in Spiral: From The Book Of Saw.
Photo credit: Lionsgate

The man who created that legendary needle pit is Darren Lynn Bousman, director of the second, third and fourth Saw movies.

He left the franchise in 2007, but has come back to it for one reason and one reason only.

"Chris Rock. That's it. It's literally that simple," he told Newshub.

"You know I was a huge fan of his comedy albums, his movies - I'm talking back as far as Beverly Hills Ninja."

It certainly sounds like working with Rock didn't disappoint.

"He did this very serious scene on set, it was a really emotional scene and everyone on set was like 'Oh my God, he went there, drama-wise'," said Bousman.

"Everyone's clapping. And Chris looks at the camera and says 'Lest none of you forget that I was in Pootie Tang. What I'm saying is, I have range'.

"I was like, this is insane, I'm working with probably one of the greatest living comedians."

He is a great comedian and I can't help but worry someone sees him on a poster for Spiral, thinks they're going to see the latest Chris Rock comedy - then in the opening scene watches a guy's tongue get ripped out.

"But then I'm pretty funny after that," laughed Rock.

Chris Rock in Spiral: From The Book Of Saw.
Photo credit: Lionsgate

"I mean the movie's a mixture. We have comedy and we have horror, gore, whatever you wanna call it. There's stuff in here for people who want comedy, and there's definitely stuff in here for people who want horror."

There is comedy in this horror - but Chris Rock has also been in comedy movies that are very horrific, and I had to ask him which was better out of two of his absolute worst.

"Oh Grown Ups is better than Grown Ups 2, but a lot of people like Grown Ups 2," he said.

Well, Spiral: From The Book Of Saw might not be as horrific as Grown Ups 2, but its gory traps should keep Saw fans happy.

The film is rated R18 for 'torture & sadistic violence' and it opens in New Zealand cinemas today.