For those who are unaware, this is the 8th (YES- 8th!) instalment to the well-known horror franchise: “Saw”.
I have seen every SAW film in the cinema, except for the 1st film which I discovered on DVD after it was recommended by one of my friends back in 2004. Having the 1st film launch into the world of horror films on a high note, since then I’ve sadly found every Saw film declining on my scoreboard. With each movie, the stories became weaker and the franchise become more focused on blood and gore. 7 years on, we now have a new Saw film with a new, fancy title and filmed by a pair of fresh directors who have never done a Saw film before.
When it comes to Jigsaw, this movie has two separate stories in one film. One story follows a group of people who wake up to discover they have been chosen to play Jigsaw’s tests, while the other story follows a group of detectives and the medical crew who discover bodies turning up around the city. As the detectives investigate the bodies, all signs points to a well know suspect: John Kramer, aka Jigsaw. The problem is… Jigsaw has been dead for 10 years…
Directed by Michael and Peter Spierig (also known as the Spierig Brothers), two very talented and skilled directors (previously directed films such as Daybreakers and Predestination), I had solid expectations and general hopes that this franchise could be steered back on track like the original success. The film looks and sounds great. Jigsaw has no issues in the Sound department and they’ve paid homage to the franchise by introducing Jigsaw’s classic theme song during the opening credits.
But, in a nutshell, when it comes to the script and story… Jigsaw feels like just another Saw film, but thankfully with a lot less gore. The film tries to create new paths and directions, but some of the explanations (such as the film’s ending and twists) can be challenging and far fetched to accept. As the game progresses, it seems as though Jigsaw knew exactly who would be involved in each level of the test and could predict every part of the game. It seems too much to accept that Jigsaw knew certain people would make certain choices.
Overall, Jigsaw is a film that aims to reignite a once-popular horror franchise but sadly doesn’t take the series a new or deeper level. In regards to both plot and script, it’s pretty much the same old story with a similar tone and end twist. I will gladly admit this is an improvement to the previous instalments in the Saw franchise, but even seeing this film being done by some of my favourite directors I couldn’t help feeling after the film that I wished I could have seen something bigger with more creativity or perhaps that the scriptwriters had done something completely daring to the series rather than just utilise the same methods already used in the other films.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden