Very few times in life does someone accidentally stumble upon something which ends up being breathtaking, fantastic and shocking all at the same time. This exact thing happened to me in mid 2005 when attempting to download a computer game via the old peer to peer network known as LimeWire. This attempt was fruitless as I instead downloaded an hour long video which would turn out to be the first half of a little film known as Saw.
Disappointed with the results of the download, I decided to take a break and watch what I accidentally received. This turned out to be I've of the greatest accidents to ever happen to me.
Hooked by the time the first hour ended I rushed out to the local movie store to rent the film in order to finish it. Finishing the film brought me shock, entertainment and amazement. This would continue throughout most of the series (to a lesser degree) thanks to their innovation and ability to connect these seven films together so masterfully that I was always left in awe.
This was the initial feeling prior to the release of the newest film in the franchise, Jigsaw, which transformed a fairly great series into nothing more than what Adobe would refer to as a cash cow. So much so that the company decided they are going to film a ninth entry for the series in the next year or two.
Jigsaw's screenplay was written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger and directed by the Spierig Brothers (Michael and Peter) with the only returning character from the franchise being Jigsaw himself AKA John Kramer which was revealed through the trailer release as well as the film's primary poster art.
The remainder of the primary cast is made up of Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett and Hannah Emily Anderson.
If you follow anybody who talks horror films, you've likely already heard most of them complaining about the film in one aspect of another. Whether it’s storyline, characters or the plot in general, the consensus is seemingly the same among viewers. Something is off about this film.
I'm going to be looking at it from different standpoints in order to give you the best outlook on what the issue of the film could be.
One of the smaller issue I found with Jigsaw was the simple fact that none of the characters really had any background of their personal lives covered. Sure, the victims each had a small part of their stories being told which is in line with the franchise history in order to explain why they have been chosen by the Jigsaw killer to take part in this game but the same issue is had with the more important characters with even less being revealed about them. This is likely done to have viewers ponder everyone's possible involvement with the killings but to me it felt like a slight lack of storytelling on the character development department.
As a whole, the story is not a bad one per say but lacks the recognizable connections to previous films which made Saw such a great franchise. When you go into one of their films, this is something you expect to see and likely try to pick up on the little clues that allow movie goers the ability to piece the mystery together prior to the film's final scene in which they would typically reveal everything and explain what and how a specific series of events has lead them to what they've just witnesses. This is present in this entry to a degree but does not incorporate previous films to aid on putting together the missing pieces.
The reason behind these massive changes could simply be due to the fact that this is actually a form of a reboot where they only needed to show a simple connection to the original franchise before growing apart into its own thing. If this is the case, they actually did a fair job of moving into a new direction but would absolutely need to release a sequel as a way of solidifying this idea for fans.
This could be as simple as the production company revealing that the name of this follow up movie is Jigsaw II which would show us that they're basically starting things over while respecting where it came from which I will admit, is actually a smart move on their part and will engage a new generation towards the horror genre.
In closing, if the film is in fact a series reboot, I will have to provide more credit than I'm about to give it but I feel that as a standalone torture flick, it would be pretty good thanks to some of it’s somewhat inventive kills but it obviously be considered as a Saw rip-off by most.
I understand most people are going to do a series marathon leading up to viewing Jigsaw and that's fine, it's something I had done fairly recently myself while preparing for it's release. But I will warn you that you do not have to go past the third film in order to pick up on any of the past connections the film goes over.
For now. At least until a sequel is made, Jigsaw gets a 5.5 out of 10.
Watch the Trailer Here