Now that the eighth instalment in the long-running Saw franchise entitled Jigsaw is released, it is more clear than ever before that the series should have concluded with its previous film.
All throughout a city, mutilated dead bodies start appearing which starts a major investigation with the police. The bodies that are discovered, however, were found to be killed in similar ways that the crazed killer who has been dead for ten years, John Kramer, did to his victims in the past. All the meanwhile, a plethora of hostages are being held in a desolate building, and are being forced to participate in a deadly game of survival. A mysterious figure who uses the same traps Kramer did to his victims, and speaks in the same voice, is forcing the hostages to participate in this insane life-or-death game. But who is this bizarre killer?
The acting for the majority of Jigsaw is fairly decent, which was very pleasant to see. There were unfortunately some scenes in which certain actors were overacting, which was noticeable, and stuck out like a sore thumb amongst a rather well acted film. An extremely satisfying element in this film is its restraint on the blood and gore. The previous two Saw films in particular were absolutely grotesque, and made them more focused on disturbing traps, rather than a great story. But even though Jigsaw definitely holds back on its gore, it does not however have an amazing story. It never captivated me, and left me on the edge of my seat like the first film in the series from 2004, Saw.
Every scene involving traps in this feature was incredibly fun to watch, and those sections of the film were easily the best element of the entire presentation. Since Jigsaw is also a murder mystery film, the scenes with the police, while well filmed, were not nearly as fun as the traps. Although this was the case for me, the police investigation aspects of attempting to uncover the identity of the killer were quite intriguing and I was rarely bored while watching this film.
That being said though, the film’s story let me down severely. As somebody who appreciates numerous installments in the Saw franchise, the film never fully utilises its story to its full potential, and instead decides to go down an unfortunately clichéd route; particularly with its ending. It sets up several intriguing elements with its breathless third act, but, while entertaining, it almost never uses these elements of intrigue.
If you want to sit back, relax, and watch a mindless and entertaining horror film, Jigsaw will satisfy you immensely. But, viewers that are searching for something with a more intelligent story full of psychological thrills much like the original 2004 film, will be disappointed.
Overall Grade: C+
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and for language
Cast: Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, Hannah Emily Anderson
Directed by: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Distributed by: Lionsgate Films
Running Time: 92 minutes