WARNING: This review contains HEAVY spoilers!
Despite claims that 2010’s Saw 3D was going to be the last in what has become one of the biggest horror franchises of all time, the trap-heavy ‘torture porn’ originator has returned for it’s eighth instalment and despite early reviews not being great, Jigsaw does what you’d expect a Saw sequel to do.
Getting off to an exciting start featuring a rooftop police chase, a very distressed looking criminal is pursued and when surrounded activates a trigger device which activates a trap involving an old barn, five people, metal nooses and a wall of buzzsaws… so far, so good. Of course, fans and followers of the series will know the five people in question have terrible things to hide and when bodies start showing up, Detective Holloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Detective Hunt (Cle Bennet) begin to investigate. Could these complicated deaths be the work of someone copying the infamous Jigsaw Killer, John Kramer (Tobin Bell), who died ten years earlier?
As the case goes on, Holloran becomes suspicious of forensic pathologists Logan (Matt Passmore) and Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson), believing they both have something to hide, but in turn Logan becomes suspicious of Holloran’s motives. As time goes on it appears all three have things to hide…
In amongst the building tension between the detectives and the pathologists we see what happened in the barn; secrets uncovered and pain and inevitable death caused by deadly syringes, razor sharp wires and a massive, spiral shaped blade, making for some wince inducing moments to please fans of the franchise. And fans of torture in general which, lets face it, we all are, am I right?
Anyway, moving on, we see two potential survivors of the barn caught and chained up with a hooded figure in the room and the big reveal will surprise everyone. Everyone in the audience anyway, not so much the two people chained up, Ryan (Paul Braunstein) and Anna (Laura Vandervoot), who look well and truly screwed as they are left with a shotgun in the middle of the room and a hidden message from the hooded figure. More secrets revealed and twists leading up to a fairly satisfying, quite gory ending with a certain characters head and some lasers. Nice.
I think a criticism of Jigsaw could be a lack of memorable characters. It’s certainly one that’s popped up in early reviews, but in an eighth instalment of a series like Saw, do you need a load of memorable characters? People know what they’re getting and what they want from a Saw sequel now; complicated and brutal traps, gore, some cool twists and a sadistic sense of fun to the whole thing. It’d be like AC/DC releasing a death metal album, “Oh cool, a new DC albu… wait, what?”. Another one could be the sometimes clunky dialogue between characters at times.
Yes, sparks aren’t exactly flying between the likes of Holloran and Logan but why would they? This is a dark film, everyone thinks everyone else has something to hide and with twists and turns happening at quite a pace, why over complicate things as long as you can get from A to B? When watching Jigsaw, it could be easy to understand the above criticisms but you have to ask yourself what were you expecting when going in to a seventh sequel of a film known for it’s torture, traps and gore. I mean, it helped invent the term and genre “torture porn”, for Satan’s sake!
Overall, it’s not the best Saw sequel ( 2, 3 and, oddly, 6 have those titles) and isn’t quite as gory as some (me) were hoping for but it has the traps and the twists a Saw fan would want. Add a cool score from the legendary Charlie Clouser, helping keep things running along nicely, and you have a decent enough, if flawed, sequel. May the games continue!
Jigsaw is now on general release across the UK. Let us know what you thought of it.