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Jigsaw Review

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[Review] The Overly Familiar ‘Jigsaw’ Still Manages to Be Fun

[Review] The Overly Familiar ‘Jigsaw’ Still Manages to Be Fun

For seven years, the Saw franchise was synonymous with Halloween. From 2004 to 2010, a new Saw film was released every Halloween to varying degrees of commercial success. Lionsgate Films opted to end the franchise with the seventh installment in 2010 after the surprisingly great Saw VI proved to be a box office dud. Now, seven years later, the studio has revived the franchise with Jigsaw, the eighth installment that, while being a fun ride, fails to justify its existence with a story that is overly familiar and a twist that doesn’t live up to most of its predecessors.

Picking up a decade after Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) death (which, you’ll remember, occurred in Saw III), Jigsaw sees the infamous serial killer back at his old habits, despite being dead for 10 years. Bodies are turning up all over the city with jigsaw-shaped pieces cut out of their skin. Detectives Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Hunt (Clé Bennett) are on the case. Working with medical examiners Logan Nelson (Michael Passmore) and Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Emily Anderson), the detectives attempt to figure out who is leaving a trail of clues around the city so that they can stop the murders for good. Is Jigsaw back from the dead? Or is a copycat at work? That is the central mystery of Jigsaw.

To say much more about the plot would spoil a lot of the fun to be had in Jigsaw (and to be clear, it is a lot of fun). The screenplay, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldberg (both of whom co-wrote Piranha 3D and Sorority Row, the latter of which I am very fond of) inject their trademark humor into the film, but it isn’t as out of place as you would expect. That being said, Jigsaw lacks the grittiness that the franchise has become known for, a lamentable fact that is through no fault of the writers. What is their fault, however, is providing a justifiable reason for the film to exist and the film simply doesn’t do that. It’s a fun diversion but doesn’t really add much to the mythology of the franchise. If anything, it crams in a forced backstory that feels superfluous (though not quite as forced as the Dr. Gordon twist in Saw 3D). It will be interesting to see future sequels (if we get any) expand upon the revelations in Jigsaw.

Stolberg and Goldberg follow in the footsteps of Saw V, an interesting choice considering it’s one of the lesser films in the franchise, and split Jigsaw‘s narrative between the police investigation and a game that follows five criminals who incessantly fail to admit their wrongdoings despite being told over and over again to do so. The criminals move from room to room as their numbers dwindle, frequently falling prey to Jigsaw’s penchant for rule-following. The order in which they die is fairly predictable, but the manners in which they die prove to be highly entertaining.

Jigsaw Review

Kevin Greutert returns to the editing room after sitting out the last two installments in favor of directing them, but you wouldn’t know it if it weren’t for his name in the credits. The trademark erratic editing is absent from this installment, and one has to wonder why. It feels like he was sleepwalking through the whole process (though it is always possible he was asked to tone it down). Also returning is series composer Charlie Clouser. It is a welcome presence, but his signature “Hello Zepp” theme is minimized during the big twist reveal, as is the rest of his updated score. It’s understandable that he would want to change things up a bit, but to play down the score in a film that is part of a series whose score is, to hyperbolize, iconic, is an odd choice. The direction by the Spierig Brothers also lacks identity. The film does not feel like the work of a pair of auteurs. This is disappointing considering their previous work on the better-than-you’d-expect Daybreakers and the impressive Predestination.

Of course, the main reason audiences enjoy the Saw films is the traps, and in that department, Jigsaw doesn’t disappoint. The film has traps aplenty and they are incredibly clever (even if most of them are spoiled in the trailer). Where Jigsaw lacks, however, is in the gore department. Jigsaw is surprisingly tame for being a Saw film, with most of the deaths occurring off-screen. Lest you think the film is without the grisly violence that the MPAA rating promises, never fear. The film does have gore, but it comes in the form of aftermath. A good chunk of the film is spent in the autopsy room, with partially decapitated heads and split-open chest cavities being the focus of the camera. It’s all great, but the off-screen deaths are regrettable for a franchise that has prided itself on graphic violence.

Jigsaw can be commended for trying to be different, however. Stylistically, it does feel like a completely different film than all those that came before it. In fact, it feels more like a police procedural than a gritty Saw film. Whether or not this works in the film’s favor is up to the viewer to decide. I believe it works, but the difference is jarring. Criticizing the film for not being like the other installments is unfair though. On its own terms, Jigsaw is a competently made film, but it does feel a bit passionless.

I really do enjoy the Saw films and I think most of them are quite good. My ranking? Saw, Saw II, and Saw VI are great. Saw III and Saw IV are alright. Saw V is bad. Saw 3D is an abomination. So where does Jigsaw sit? Somewhere in the realm of Saw IV. It’s not better than Saw III but it is better than Saw V and most certainly better than Saw 3D by a wide margin. Still, it can’t help but feel like something of a disappointment, especially for a film that is supposed to renew interest in a dead franchise. Stylistically different but narratively more of the same, Jigsaw isn’t the revival fans of the franchise deserved. Better luck next time!



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COMMENTS

125 Comments
  • Rohan

    I’m glad it’s not as gross as some of the other ones. I like the less, torture-y parts of the saw movies that have more mystery, like the first two and part 6. Saw 3 and 4 are more torture porn than suspenseful. I’m excited to see this one.

  • tyler

    Hopefully this gets enough support to continue getting new ones for the next few Octobers! No matter how bad some of them got, they are still very much entertaining. They kept them fun by making you guess and think through every film – and this one is the same. I agree with this review for the most part – it could have been better… but it was still so much fun to watch. Bottom line: It is light years better than 4, 5, and 7. Especially after the epic failures this year with Mother, Leatherface, It, and Cult of Chucky – Jigsaw was a huge relief!

    • WHOA. Mother, It and Cult of Chucky were not huge failures. XD

      • Saturn

        Well Mother was pretty much a flop – it’s made something like 46 million dollars globally. I can’t comment on the quality of the movie as I haven’t seen it yet – I’ll wait for the shiny disc.
        Cult Of Chucky I really enjoyed so don’t understand why tyler considered it a flop?
        And of course, in no way whatsoever was IT a flop!
        Tyler – what you smokin’????

        • I assumed he meant failures in terms of quality…not box office.

          • tyler

            Absolutely. As someone sd above – Transformers makes a ton of money – it doesn’t mean they are good. I hate saying Cult of Chucky was awful – but it was. “IT” was too childish, and too much of a comedy for me to ever take it seriously – even in a cheesy way. Leatherface and Mother were just plain god-awful and there is no defense to those 2. Once the hype for these films calms down – nobody will ever remember or want to watch them again.

          • Haven’t seen Leatherface so I can’t comment on that but Mother is legit one of my favorite movies of the year. I think it’s fantastic. And I loved It too!

      • Josh Nitsche

        Cult is exceptionally boring though, if we’re honest. Everyone likes Brad and Don, so we’re being nice, but the movie puts me to sleep. It’s anticlimatic. Mother! is great, and the only thing bad about IT is that it feels like it was made for kids. It’s far from scary and Pennywise is, at times, comically bad.

        • Totally disagree about Cult and It. It’s true that Cult isn’t the best entry in the franchise, but I think it’s a lot of fun. My only issue with it is that it feels like the middle chapter of a trilogy. All buildup to a cliffhanger leading into the third chapter.

          • Josh Nitsche

            I’ve seen it twice now and it took several days. It’s contrived. The twist of the movie was built in when Fiona was added to the franchise 5 years ago. I appreciate the call backs to previous films, but the call backs shouldn’t be the best part of the movie. I can’t forgive the ending when *SPOILERS* voodoo gives Nica the gift of walking? Hold the cheese, please! I’m gonna give it another try because I want to like it. It has so much potential.

          • Saturn

            But you have no problem with the idea of Voodoo being used to put the soul of someone into a doll, which can then run around offing people?

          • Josh Nitsche

            Yes, I don’t mind that because it was established in part 1. Also, transferring his soul into multiple dolls… Where did that come from? We only have 1 soul. It’s like Don is running out of ideas. The real Chucky was hardly in the film. He’s a mere head on a stick… Nica’s legs wouldn’t have the strength to work. So not only can Chucky transfer his soul into cripples and make them walk again (WTF!?) but apparently he has super human strength, I guess? Why isn’t this voodoo being used to treat people then? If it’s soo readily available it should be in mass use! This film focuses more on the magical fantasy side. The original series didn’t.

            I would have found it less goofy if she remained in the wheel chair, but to me, Don didn’t want to make his friend sit in a chair anymore. The whole film felt so forced. Plus the scene when she stands up looks so cheesy and bad. The films have never been that cheesy!

          • Saturn

            Where did transferring his soul into multiple dolls come from? Voodoo For Dummies.Com.
            (iirc!).

            Perhaps Nica’s problem has been psychological all along (I don’t recall if they mentioned how she lost the use of her legs, but I seem to remember she’s been like it since childhood?).

            Nica’s legs wouldn’t have the strength to work? Neither would a good guy doll which is made out of plastic!
            And again, VOODOO!!!!!!!

          • Josh Nitsche

            I don’t want everything explained away with just cause… That’s lazy writing. There needs to be rules. Otherwise Chucky can do anything and it’s not scary. Why are people still shocked and refusing to believe the doll is alive when voodoo is clearly mainstream in this world?

          • Saturn

            I don’t think that voodoo is mainstream in the Chucky universe – you may as well say that everyone is using it in the Hatchet universe too, because of Tony Todd’s character. The vast majority of people in the Child’s Play franchise don’t believe in voodoo, or any other kind of magik. More fool them…..

            If Charles Lee Ray can transfer his soul (and Tiffany’s) into dolls and ANIMATE THEM then why is it so difficult to accept that the same magik can be used to transfer his soul into a cripple, and take control of the body?
            There are those out there who believe that we live in a holographic world, where anything is possible – but we’re programmed from birth to believe otherwise.
            Is it really possible for a 9 stone woman to lift a truck? ?Usually no – but in certain circumstances, perhaps when their child is trapped underneath it? YES.
            Is it possible to smell colours? Well, when your brain is wired up “correctly” no – but after a brain injury, or certain – ahem – recreation substances? Yes.
            Is it possible to have countless thoughts, which are all under your control, at the same time? No.
            Again, under certain circumstances – YES.
            Who is to say what is reality?
            Who is to say who defines out limits?
            Personally I believe there are no limitations when it comes to (perceived) reality. ANYTHING is possible – we just have to discover how it’s done.

            The rules of the movie states that Charles Lee Ray can enter an object which cannot move with it’s own free will – a doll. And makes it do so.
            So why is it so difficult to believe that the same is not possible with an object that SHOULD be able to move?

            Now if you’re going to undermine the movie because it doesn’t follow it’s own “rules” you may as well give up on horror franchises now.

          • Saturn

            There is no evidence of the soul – so we cannot say we only have one.

            Perhaps the soul is real, perhaps we have but one, but maybe we have multiple souls, each separate but united.

            From a Christian POV there is one soul. But guess what – we don’t know.

            There are those who believe in (possibly) infinite incarnations of ourselves throughout an infinite multiverse (I don’t believe that – it’s not logical that in each universe the equivalent version of our parents got together and had the same kids – doesn’t make sense if each universe is based on the butterfly effect) – so if true (which I don’t believe) each version of “me” share the same soul – so possibly just one soul connects us, or multiple aspects of our soul (like each strand of dna, which can be used to clone us – allegedly) are separate,but the from the same source.
            Or some shit like that.

            It’s just a movie.
            Next you’ll be saying that it’s silly that Jason was resurrected when struck by lightning, or Michael could still see after having his eyes shot out, or Benny from TCM3 could survive a chainsaw through the head……Crazy talk!

          • Josh Nitsche

            I can suspend disbelief, but Cult requires me to completely shut my brain off. Look, I’m glad you liked it. I want more sequels. I just want good sequels next time.

        • Saturn

          If you considered it boring, then you’re correct – it was boring for you.

          Personally though I enjoyed it, and was never bored during it’s runtime, and look forward to the next installment(s) of the Chucky franchise.

          • Josh Nitsche

            Yea, sadly, I was bored. Alex’s acting wasn’t that great, the story wasn’t interesting or engaging. Maybe it was the white walls followed by the white snow that was kinda bringing me down. It was dull. It’s nowhere near the levels of Child’s Play 2. I agree with Trace, it felt like the middle of a trilogy…. Btw, I own Cult, I preordered it months in advance. I’m a real fan of the series, and I hope they make more, but I’m not excited whatsoever. I absolutely hate the ending. As I mentioned before, it’s contrived. I feel like this franchise is only continuing now to give a paycheck to Fiona, Brad, and Don. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to see Chucky as a woman.

          • Saturn

            Because deep down you may be tempted to fuck with the chuck?

            Ahem.

            😉

    • Creepshow

      You should of started your paragraph with the last sentence. That way everyone would know you’re full of shit right of the bat.

      • Shatnerific

        Wow. He’s allowed not to like it. I was entertained by it personally, but I understand someone considering it a “fail” if they were expecting to actually be frightened by it.

    • Travis_Bickle

      IT = highest grossing horror film of all time. Just an FYI

      • Saturn

        Don’t you start!

        • Travis_Bickle

          650 million back on a 35 million dollar investment is pretty good. Plus they just re-expanded out into more theaters for halloween, cuz it’s still popular almost 2 months later. Huge flop.

          • Saturn

            I’m considering going back to the cinema to give it a second watch for Halloween – not certain yet, as The Shining is coming back to the big screen so may see that instead.

          • Josh Nitsche

            Bad movies make money all the time. You’ve heard of Transformers, right?

          • Creepshow

            So you’re saying IT was a bad movie? Put your balls out there with your Transformers comparison.

          • Josh Nitsche

            I liked the kids. I did not like Pennywise… at all. It was not a horror film for adults. It wasn’t scary. Overall, it’s okay.

            I was more pointing out the fact that money doesn’t always equal quality.

          • Creepshow

            Well in this case, it does. People’s gripes aside, IT is not a “bad” movie by any means.

          • Josh Nitsche

            Yea, I guess you’re right. I would never ever want to watch it again, but that’s just me.

          • Travis_Bickle

            No…please explain…

  • Saturn

    So I just got back from a showing and had a blast with it – no, it’s not as good as Saw 1,2,6 – but I’d be happy enough to say (although I really don’t like to decide too much about a movie until I’ve seen it a couple of times) that it’s probably more in line qualitywise with those 3, than the rest (especially the dog turd sandwich that was number 7).

    If you’re not a fan of the Saw franchise then this won’t change your mind – but if you’ve enjoyed the better movies in the series, but ain’t too sure about checking it out due to the lesser movies? I think you’ll have a good time with it.
    Now, if you’re a fan of the franchise as a whole?
    Well, you’re seeing it anyway……

    I can’t wait for the eventual HellraiSaw cross-over movie.
    It’s not really a thing – but if done well….?

    Perhaps in a future movie an apprentice of Kramer (and no, don’t worry – that’s NOT a spoiler in regards to Jigsaw) can finally track down the lament configuration box, which Kramer had been seeking (it’ll be another retcon flashback!), which he’d planned to use in one final game.
    John Kramer – Cenobite.
    Nice.

    Will never happen though.

    • Bannedscorpionape:(

      SPOILERS!!!!

      Ok please help me. Need answers..lol

      So he had no cancer after all right? So why the hell does he have his brain operated on in part 3? He was pissed in this new movie for having his test results mixed up? Did i miss something or did i just discover a huge plot hole?

      He had no cancer after all. Im trying to figure out why the hell would he want a doctor to cut into his head in part 3?

      • Saturn

        Not sure where you got the idea that John didn’t have the brain tumour – the movie pointed out that what had happened is that due to an error the wrong names were put on his, and the other persons, scans – the mix up you mentioned. John did have a tumour, which would have been detected earlier and could have been cured, but due to the error he found out about it too late.

        • Bannedscorpionape:(

          Oooooooh, got it! The film sucks less now..lol.. Thanks!

    • BlueMoonMario

      Awesome idea! I’ve thought the same, even pitching it to one of the producers of the recent Hellraiser I and II documentary.

      It wouldn’t necessarily have to be canon to the core story, either.

      • Saturn

        It would be cool if Pinhead were to entrap Kramer in one of his own traps “Pain? You think you know pain? I AM PAIN!”

  • Travis_Bickle

    I’m going to see it but i’m not excited anymore. It has to be better then part 7…

    • It is!

      • Necro

        That bugs me about the gore Trace! You have no idea, it’s almost like a staple of these films and what fans have come to expect!

        • I want to say more about WHY it’s all aftermath shots, but to say so would be a spoiler. XD

    • Saturn

      Oh yes, there will be…..I mean, yes, yes it is. MUCH better.
      This is kinda the Rocky Balboa of the Saw franchise (although it’s not as good as RB), as in if it’s the final one, then the it washes out the bad taste from the previous final entry.
      I’ll be there for next years instalment.

    • Joshua Martyniouk

      It is better and a breath of fresh air for the franchise!

  • Necro

    Well 7 films in 7 years and then a 7 year gap between ‘3D’ and ‘Jigsaw’ so it’s not surprising to hear “good not great”. After everything that has been revealed throughout this franchise (especially the first 3), I think it’s going to be difficult going forward to come with any story that blows fans away. My opinion the franchise was in the ‘great’ category for ‘Saw 1-3’, especially the story, and after that it went into the ‘good/alright’ category for ‘Saw 4-7’. In those the story turned erratic, the timeline jumps all over the place much like the ‘TCM’ franchise, and just relied on their traps and ‘torture porn’. Being what I’ve heard thus far is pretty much on point from what I’ve been expecting to hear. Although it’s very disappointing to hear about the gore and the ‘aftermath’ shots. Reminds me of hearing about ‘Se7en’ after that came out and how they showed you everything after the fact. Still I’ll be seeing it on Monday (matinee) that way Regal and their bullshit can’t rob me blind!

  • I’d say do Saw first so you’re all caught up before you see Jigsaw. Also, good choice on Splinter. SUPER underrated film.

    • Saturn

      Splinter is a great movie.
      Shame it never got a sequel – I do seem to remember there was talk about it not long after it was released, but since then? Nada.

      Then again, it could be a good thing it’s a one off, and hasn’t been watered down with countless sequels.

      • Necro

        I have to agree Saturn, even though it ended with a strong possibility of another one, as much as I’d like one, it’s better as a one off.

    • J Jett

      SPLINTER is awesome!

  • zombie84_41

    Its saw so you know what to expect good torturing of people. I agree some of the other saw films were pretty lame but it is what it is.

    • Yeah but the thing is that this one doesn’t have a lot of that lol.

      • zombie84_41

        So is it more along the lines of how the first one was ?

  • Saturn

    I’d do a Saw movie, then one of the others, then a Saw movie, then one of the others just so you don’t end up with saw eyes.

    • Necro

      Honestly Saturn I was thinking that, but I think I’ll do like two ‘Saw’ films then throw one of the others in.

      • Saturn

        Now that’s a compromise!
        TBH that’s probably the best way to do it, so you can see Jigsaw earlier, before someone spoils it for you on BD.

        • Necro

          Ok I have a minor question regarding ‘Saw ll’, now I’ve seen this numerous times and although I obviously picked up on it, it never really occurred to me until now: Okay the numbers on the back of their necks that’s evidently the combination to the safe, how the hell would ‘Xavier’ even know what numerical order they’d go in, I mean there’s what 8 people with a number, that’s one hell of a combination with a lot of different possibilities! Any ideas? Did he even have a chance to get it right, or am I just over thinking this?

          • Saturn

            David Hess left an answer-machine message for you, just before he died. He said “just remember, it’s only a movie, only a movie, only a movie…….”

          • Necro

            Yeah I know! Meanwhile I just watched ‘Detective Mathews’ smash the fuck out of his foot to get out of the shackle in ‘Saw lll’! Man that was brutal! How would you prefer to get out of the shackle? Like ‘Lawrence Gordon’ in part one and ‘saw’ your foot completely off, or like ‘Detective Mathews’ in part three and smash your foot to bits, then snap your bone, and finally pull the skin off and slide what’s left of your foot out?

          • Saturn

            First and foremost I would like to say that I’d choose (in theory) the “smash the fuck out of my foot” method, over the “sawing the fuck off” technique. THEORETICALLY.
            I say “in theory” for a reason – I’m not messing with someone called Necro, just in case you decide to take your love of horror movies too far!

            🙂

            Of course, there may be people out there who may have a similar feel about the choice of name that I chose, and the significance of it……

            Muwuhahahahahahahaaaa…..

            ****shit, who’s that guy at my window with the pig mask on………*****
            I’ll go and chec……

          • Saturn

            Multiverse.
            In most universes where Xavier survived until near the end he got the numbers in the wrong order – but luckily enough in one he got them right.
            But I still don’t know why, when it came to Martha, he said that name.,,,,

        • Necro

          Yeah very true!

  • J Jett

    so is Amanda/Shawnee back?

    • You have to see it to find out!

      • J Jett

        LOL. i’m going to head over to reddit to read the spoilers (i appreciate you not spoiling it in your review/comments though!). i definitely will not watch this in theaters but then again i was never a big SAW fan. i DO love Shawnee though. 🙂

    • SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER
      SPOILERSPOILERShesNotBackSPOILERSPOILER
      SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER

      • J Jett

        thanx Pedro! does Laura Vandervoort’s character die?

        • Okay y’all get SO MAD at us for spoiling even the tiniest details in our articles. Let’s keep spoilers like that out of the comments, shall we? 😉

          • Creepshow

            I smell what you’re stepping in.

        • Creepshow

          Check yourself.

        • SPOILERSPOILERyesSPOILERSPOILER

          • Creepshow

            Shame on you.

          • Saturn

            The correct way of doing spoilers on here is thus :

            then add your comment, with no space between the initial > and your comment, then follow it with (again, with no space between the end of your text and the initial < – just the the one p in the final spoiler – I had to put in 2 so it didn’t show up as a spoiler, if you get what I mean.

          • thank you

          • Saturn

            🙂

  • J Jett

    DAMN! awesome movie choices Necro!

    • Necro

      Thanks J! I honestly wish we all lived relatively close to each other! I’d invite all of you over to watch ’em with me.

      • Saturn

        ….And that’s how horror movies begin…….

        ****J smiles and begins to sharpen the axe……******

        😉

    • Necro

      I have a lot more where that came from! 496 more to be exact.

  • I’m fan of Saw franchise since I was teenager, so my hype about this new entry was so high. The movie has 2 plots, one showing 5 victims needing to survive to the dangerous games of Jigsaw and other telling us the story about a police department investigating some stranger homicides.

    The plot about the surviving group is nice, there are some creative traps, however there’s less violence and bloody scenes than in the previous entries and also has some plot holes, for example Jigsaw seems to know who would survive since the beginning. During the middle of the movie I was wondering “how’s possible Jigsaw recorded a tape with the name of that character? How he knows that character is alive? He could die during the beginning of the game”. Meanwhile, the plot about the polices gives us some great twists and I’m sure you won’t see them coming.

    Jigsaw is a sequel with some reboot elements, doesn’t change the horror genre, but is funny and I suggest it for who wants to turn off the brain for 90 minutes and just enjoy a nice movie. It’s not the best Saw film, however is one of the bests.

    Rating: 7/10

    • Bannedscorpionape:(

      I HATED THIS FILM!!!

      SPOILERS!!!!!

      Ok maybe i missed something so maybe you can help me. In saw 3 its established he is dying of brain cancer and makes a doctor operate on his brain, right? So why the hell does his new apprentice get put into a game for mixing up his test results? He had no cancer! So why does he has a docto operate on his head? PLOT HOLE???

      • Shatnerific

        Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet…

        The Tobin Bell parts are revealed to be a flashback. He still died of the cancer. He was mad at the doctor for mislabeling his initial test, which resulted in a false negative. If he had gotten the correct results at the beginning, he could have started treatment sooner and maybe lived longer.

        That’s how I understood it. Someone please correct me if I got it wrong.

        • Saturn

          You are correct.

        • Bannedscorpionape:(

          Hmmmmm ok. Ill torrent it and watch this again because he has a few lines in the film i cant remember but he says that he hated life when he disnt have to or some shit like that..lol

          • Saturn

            Bannedscorpionade:( I want to play a game.
            You consider torrenting a victimless crime, but my cousin’s ex boyfriend’s sister used to know someone who knew Harvey Weinstein, who used a woman who lost her job as a set designer in Hollywood (due to online piracy), for his sexual deviancy.
            Tonight we will find out if you’re willing to accept his advances.
            Spend the night with Weinstein, or die. You decide…….

      • Yes, maybe another plot hole or something they should explain better during the next 20 sequels. 🙂

      • Saturn

        It’s not a plot hole.

        He had cancer.
        His initial scan that he received was incorrect, showing that he was probably fine (or would be if treated quickly enough) – but it was someone else’s scan, and during the time between finding out the mix up his cancer had progressed to a degree that couldn’t be cured.

    • Saturn

      Well, the reason Jigsaw knew who was surviving the movie was because he was actually there during the game, remember it’s implied that it’s a very early game in his career – remember that the deaths we saw were in the past, while he was still alive – but the later “game”, which we didn’t see in the movie, only the after effects (buckethead, for example) – aside from the guy at the beginning with the remote device, were done with samples of Jigsaws voice, by his accomplice who had access to the original recordings

      • Tyler McPherson

        The fact that the new Jigsaw went through all of that trouble is just completely insane and unbelievable to me. The end twist is just ridiculous and beats Saw 1+4 for the most wtf ending in the franchise but that’s not a good thing. The other twist though near the end is actually pretty good though.

  • jasonlives1986

    All I care is if Hoffman returns or not

    • Saturn

      SPOILER ALERT

      No, he does not

      • jasonlives1986

        Damnit.

  • Joshua Martyniouk

    Please tell me the traps are good!

    • yes, they’re really good, however they don’t give bloody and gruesome scenes like the previous films.

      • Joshua Martyniouk

        They are called twisted pictures and the traps aren’t bloody or gruesome?
        That makes no sense! Especially for Saw!

        • Saturn

          In the context of the movie it does make sense.

        • No, in my opinion Jigsaw has best or the 2nd best plot twist of the whole franchise, but there’s a lack of blood.
          The movie here is rated +18 (something like NC-17) but deserved the +14 classification (something between PG-13 and Rated R).

          • Joshua Martyniouk

            Probably going to see it now! Thanks! Hopefully we get more Saw movies like this!

  • pretzelcuatl

    It’s silly to criticize the editing style of the film based on the previous films, because obviously the directors were going for a much more “grown-up” style in all departments. The editor works for the directors, not the other way around.

    • Tyler McPherson

      I would hardly call this movie “grown-up” at all. It feels like every movie we have already seen from the franchise combined into one movie. There are plot holes all over the place and crazy coincidences that top even the most hard to believe events in the previous movies. I feel like Jigsaw is basically a parody of what Saw used to be. That said, it’s not a horrible movie, just a horrible Saw movie. Better than 7 though I guess.

    • Josh Nitsche

      Maybe you should be in charge, “Pretz” 😉 … i think a darker, intimate story like the original is what the franchise needs. Something simple. The best scenes are with Jigsaw himself. It must be so hard to incorporate those without it feeling forced… i love the series. Do you know how much Jigsaw needs to make for it to continue?

    • To be fair, I do say “Jigsaw can be commended for trying to be different, however. Stylistically, it does feel like a completely different film than all those that came before it. In fact, it feels more like a police procedural than a gritty Saw film. Whether or not this works in the film’s favor is up to the viewer to decide. I believe it works, but the difference is jarring. Criticizing the film for not being like the other installments is unfair though. On its own terms, Jigsaw is a competently made film, but it does feel a bit passionless.”

  • American Atheist

    I had hope but figured it would be the same shit more focused on traps instead of story and character development. Saw and Saw 3 are my favorites.

  • DS Ullery

    My take:

    With the new film Jigsaw, what the Spierig Brothers have done is tap back into the core premise of the first film.

    Shifting the focus away from excessively elaborate traps and unchecked gore, the story here is the first since the original to really delve into the premise of the games being survivable and the point being for the unwilling participants to face their personal demons/sins.

    When five people wake up in an isolated farmhouse and are forced to play a new game requiring they each confess to a sin they have gotten away with, it triggers a new wave of carnage suggesting John Kramer has somehow returned from the grave ten years after his death. As local detectives and forensic specialists work to figure out where the game is being tested and who is running it, the people being tested are forced to confront their own dark pasts, leading to revelations which link directly to Jigsaw.

    There’s been a lot of ink written in the past couple of days complaining the traps are tamer in Jigsaw than in the other sequels. I have to call BS on that up front. There is plenty of gore and the traps are relentlessly brutal. Moreover, several of them are the most personal to the specific subject we’ve seen in this series outside of those designed to teach William a lesson in the superb part VI. I find it interesting this series was increasingly derided for going too far with the implausibility of its games, yet when it scales things back a bit, fans complain. People gotta bitch, I guess.

    The cast (including Tobin Bell, who gets a surprising amount of screen time late in the film) is the best assembled for a Saw film aside from the first and VI (Peter Outerbridge as William is still my favorite test subject) and the grimy, filthy green industrial veneer of the original seven films has been replaced with a glossier, more polished look that really adds something. Honestly, I’m glad. After seven films in what one character early on in the franchise referred to as “an actual shithole”, I was ready for a change.

    Charlie Clouser’s score is again spot on (“Hello Zepp” opens as well as closes this chapter ) and series editor/Saw VI & VII director Kevin Gruetert drops the hyperkinetic style of the previous films in favor of an improved, more fluid visual flow.

    Then there’s the twist. I really enjoyed the reveal here. What makes it so interesting isn’t the identity of the character at the center of it (I had a fairly good idea who it was early on), but the ensuing explanation as to why. Within the framework of this story, I found it satisfying, if somewhat convoluted. It certainly sets up a compelling foundation for future sequels.

    So, will fans love it? That depends . Hardcore acolytes who were yearning for a continuation of the Dr.Gordon /Hoffman plot are in for a disappointment. Despite loads of visual and narrative references to the previous games, neither they nor Amanda Young are so much as mentioned. This is a sequel as soft reboot and it has been designed to set the story moving ahead in new directions.

    I love this bizarre, original franchise with all of the crazy traps, psychotic moralizing, timeline hopping and in your face gore, but I admit I felt hollow walking out of Saw VII back in 2010. The ending we got seemed weak and unrewarding, something tossed together without much thought, set within a movie representing the antithesis of the original Saw.

    Jigsaw effectively returns the story to its roots. Though there is plenty of the red stuff, there’s more focus on plot. As was the case in Saw, the characters here are truly being tested as opposed to outright murdered. Once Jigsaw places the subjects in their game, whatever outcome transpires is dependent solely on their actions.

    In the overall ranking of the series as a whole, I’d place Jigsaw about third, after my favorites Saw VI and Saw II, but higher than the rest (I’ve never been overly enamored of the original film,despite the unique premise and fantastic twist). The time line gets a bit muddled again near the end and they do tap into some well traveled territory in regards to the narrative, but the overall experience was entertaining and never dull. This was a fun horror film to watch. I
    think the Spierig brothers have done an honorable job resurrecting this franchise, deftly rescuing it from the bitter taste left by the poorly conceived Saw VII. I’m definitely on board if the game continues in the future.

    **** out of ***** Though the material is familiar, Jigsaw regains his horror glory in an entertaining late entry sequel/reboot that surprisingly opts to abandon the over the top sensibility of Saw VII in favor of returning to the vibe of the first film.

  • Nahuel Benvenuto

    Sounds a little dissapointing

  • Beatnation

    Look like crap

  • Will Coors

    I think the 2 skulls is a little harsh. I think it’s a decent sequel, not a great reboot though. It was fun but nothing great and I’m hoping for an unrated DVD with some more blood. Definitely better than 7 but not the weakest of the franchise. It felt great to see Tobin Bell again though, so many feels. Wish there was some way to really bring him back

  • Rohan

    SPOILER
    Two and a half skulls!?! I just got out of it, and this is one of the best Saw movies to date! A lot of fun, with a great twist and a good story. I’m a little sad that Cary Elwes wasn’t in this one, but whatever. All the characters were real pieces of shit, which is what they should be in a Saw movie, not just “you smoke, so you should be crushed to death”. I liked the guy who got his leg cut off, and was kinda bummed that he died, but that’s the same case as Adam. Overall great Saw movie, and brings it back to the original two that I loved.

    • I didn’t hate it. I just felt that it was very middle-of-the-road. Hence the middling score. I do think it’s better than 5 and 7 but nowhere near as good as 1, 2, 3 or 6.

      • Rohan

        Why does everyone like 3? I thought it was one of the worst, and was much more of a torture porn than a Saw mystery. 1 and 2 are good, 6 is decent, and 3 and 4 are just torture porn. 8 reminds me a lot of 5, but with a better story and twist.

        • Josh Nitsche

          6 is torture porn more so than 3. Just look at the traps. At least one person had to die in every single trap. The smoker, the loner, the carousel.

          Saw 3 is good because Jeff is relatable. Anyone can lose a child. So, we can get behind his vengeance, but when the audience and Jeff are faced with the people responsible for the loss of the child, that’s when our conflicting emotions come into play. Jeff is at war with himself to save Danica Scott, in the freezer room. Her crying and apologetic nature is by far some of the best acting the series has had, and with that, we see Jeff’s internal struggle. Also, there’s no blood in this trap, so I wouldn’t call it gory or torture porn.

          Now lets move to The Judge. Another trap with no blood. Sure, there’s big guts, but the man is being drowned. It’s incredibly tame compared to the opening scene with Eric Matthews breaking his foot. Also, the focus here is less on The Judge drowning, but on the emotional decision to burn his sons belongs, and cleanse himself of his obsession.

          Finally, we have the Rack. This is by far the most brutal trap. Yes, I consider this one closer to torture porn, but, what sets it apart from others is, again, Jeff’s emotions. The situation itself is what’s interesting.

          Also, I want to point out how each of these traps were ironic to the victim. Danica was frozen in place to stop her from running.

          Now, the real reason why this film is so good is the ending. The twists were both well written, but more importantly, Saw III hit’s emotion peaks that few other horror films have ever dared to try. We have Amanda seemingly in love with Jigsaw, who it appears, wants someone else. It’s one of the best endings to a trilogy ever.

          • Rohan

            Eh, I guess so. It’s just that’s the point where it became more about people being tortured than the mystery of Jigsaw. The disturbing traps led into Saw 4, which is basically just torture porn. There is no real mystery after the second one, which isn’t what makes Saw good.

          • Josh Nitsche

            After Saw III, there was new writers and they focused on gory traps instead of emotional or ironic ones, sadly. Saw IV is definitely torture porn, what with the scalp chair, the dismembering bed, the impaling, the knife chair… Not good.

          • Yeah my ranking is 1, 2, 6, 3, 8, 4, 5, 7. It’s pretty much in the middle.

          • Rohan

            I dig it. I think 6, 3, and 8 are all the same level of decent. I would put 4 at the bottoms though, that one sucks ass.

  • Koban4max81

    it was…….okay. 3/5/

  • Dylan Hurst

    DAMN! awesome movie choices Necro!

  • Mike Lawrence

    So in a nutshell, probably not the revival the fans were crossing their fingers for the past handful of years.
    Saw 3D was so bad that it was embarrassing for anyone involved in the making of it, so I knew the series was on its last legs, but I was really hoping this new instalment would be something fresh and exciting.
    By the sounds of things, not so much…

  • Mohammed

    So in a nutshell, probably not the revival the fans were crossing their fingers for the past handful of years.Saw 3D was so bad that it was embarrassing for anyone involved in the making of it, so I knew the series was on its last legs, but I was really hoping this new instalment would be something fresh and exciting.By the sounds of things, not so much…

  • joesey

    I thought it was great and the two twists at the ending I never saw coming and I’ve usually been good at figuring it out but like Saw 6 it had me a little baffled! I’m glad they started it off with new characters and I can’t wait to watch it again to see if I missed anything. It was worth the wait but I’ve been a fan since the first came out back in 2004. I just hope they don’t do another Hoffman character with this new one.

  • Khy

    I guessed the apprentice the moment they appeared on screen and the other twist before it was revealed.

    At least it was better than SAW 3D.

    I liked it enough. I mean it didn’t reinvigorate the franchise nor does it really leave a game plan for more films because I sure as hell don’t think this new “apprentice” has the screen presence to make me want to follow them for more films. Though there is a part of me that kinda does want the series to reach ten films, but for what reason? I know this film purposely was trying to eliminate a lot of the baggage from the last several films by simply not acknowledging them but the only way I can see a 9th film working is if they bring some of it back in the shape of maybe the new apprentice going at it with Gordon? Because this new person just isn’t interesting enough to carry on as the sole draw for another movie.

    But an enjoyable ride. My ranking thus far is-

    SAW
    SAW VI
    SAW II
    SAW III
    SAW V (This one has truly grown on me surprisingly. Much better than IV.)
    JIGSAW
    SAW IV
    SAW 3D

  • Thrash13

    I loved Jigsaw! I read the final thoughts of this review beforehand because I couldn’t help myself, so I was nervous going into the theater. That being said, it definitely met my expectations and then some. Great revival for the series!

    Saw 2 is my favorite, and Saw is awesome as well. I’d put Jigsaw right behind those 2 personally.

  • Saturn

    I’l get your red pyjamas ready for you, but you’ve gotta bring your own pitch-fork.

  • Jeff Colico

    One thing I’ll never understand about horror fans is why so many of them treat the SAW saga so badly and then say great things about movies like “It follows”- a movie with one act…they tell U one thing about what is going on and….that is all the movie…1 hour with nothing else to say— “You’re next”, a movie that not even the worst drunken version of Agatha Christie couldn’t have written-, and the 80% of horror movies about idiots killing people with masks with teenagers screaming “oh my God”, running with the camera at hand. And that is the whole movie.

    I simply don’t get it. Yes, they are not perfect but they way they mix the characters from another movies is very good and something hard to achive.
    But…again, movies like “IT” 2017 are a hit. A movie done billions of times before, with nothing new to offer. Absolutely nothing. Not a single new idea. But..again…just an opinion. They earned millions so…that kind of probes my knowledge…

  • cid

    Nice review!

    As a fan since 2004, I was a bit disappointed with this well noted lack of passion of this installment. Photography was really nice, but if they wanted something like a ground zero movie for a new saga, it seemed below average. There are B dialogues that were never this simple or narrow during the series, like when it all comes down to three suspects of being the copycats, during a laughably simplistic dialogue/

    I was also lost with the flashback scenes. It would make more sense if most of the crimes had somehow occurred in the past, because it seemed weird to the apprentice to reenact the first game, only to be vengeful – as Jigsaw wasn’t . It makes no sense for the apprentice to pretend he’s part of the game, in order to make a better vengeance./

    I noticed a (nice and interesting) political undertone throughout the film, with US politics being address several times (the fact that the apprentice was an Iraq war vet also), and saying “I speak for the dead” as the final sentence. It felt bold, but I still can’t seem to connect it with the film and the series rebirth. But maybe there’s more to it than what I’m refusing to see right now./

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