Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.
It has been over a decade since Jigsaw died. However, after a new series of murders occurs, police find themselves chasing after the original Jigsaw Killer - John Kramer. Could John Kramer still be alive or is another killer out there with a different motive?Written by
The film was specifically written as a way to minimize on the torturous and extreme violence of the previous series installments, instead opting for a feeling of claustrophobia, along with gloss and style. See more »
In Logan's flashback at the end of the film, it shows that he was one of Jigsaw's first accomplices. Considering Logan is a medically trained professional, it does not make sense why Jigsaw needed Lawrence as an accomplice in the last Saw film (Saw: The Final Chapter). Logan could have done all of the work Lawrence did. See more »
Never Fade Away
Performed by Great American Canyon Band
Courtesy of Six Degrees Records
By Arrangement with Primary Wave Entertainment See more »
For better or worse, this is the 'Jurassic World' of the Saw franchise
From 2004 to 2010, we were greeted with a Saw film once every Halloween. Each film built on the foundation of the previous film, literally deeming them as iterations of one another. Now that time has past between films and new films and ideas have come out since then in the torture porn genre (I hate using that phrase, especially to describe the first film), new ground had to be broken. There are die- hard Saw fans like myself who know most every little intricacy of the first seven films, but nobody cares about the old formula anymore. It tired itself out. Instead of reiterating, it was now time to innovate. Enter co-writers Josh Stolberg & Pete Goldfinger and co-directors Michael & Peter Spierig, and in Halloween of 2017 you get Jigsaw.
All of this follows an eerily similar path to the Jurassic Park franchise. JP had sequels that, while in-name they hold their own, after a while started turn away some moviegoers and even got close to jumping the shark if it continued down the beaten path. So they created some space between themselves for some years, and came back with a re-branding. Both films (Jigsaw and Jurassic World) serve as standalone films if you so want to treat them as such or jump into them anew, play off their respective first films in terms of content and paying proper homage, modernize themselves and play more to a general casual audience (Jigsaw domestically, JW globally), can and probably will churn out its own set of sequels, and let veterans of the franchises appreciate the small bits that played off any one of the previous installments. Jurassic World lives in a PG-13 setting though and caved in to more Hollywood tropes (including CGI), plus is a much higher budget film, but Jigsaw still breaks a lot of new ground that will not play familiarly to the Saw films of old.
When Darren Lynn Bousman jumped on board to direct Saw II, he noted in the commentary track what some of the 'staples' were for the franchise, including quick-cuts. While I don't agree with that assessment, this continued for his next two films in the franchise, and directors David Hackl and Kevin Greutert followed up with a similar format. The films also found themselves in flashback haven, remained almost exclusively within interior settings, and centralized a set of characters to connect within a small universe. Jigsaw opens up to the feeling that this is taking place in a larger city and environment, letting characters in and out of the games explore more and be realer people (in that they do not just serve the purpose of the film alone, like they have lives outside of what we see). The framing of the film has changed, the color palette has widened, Charlie Clouser's score is not as in-your-face, and the production simply doesn't feel as cheap. Right steps were made in making this film much more accessible, and I see this continuing in the future.
While Jurassic World actually seems to remove the sequels from canon (we will see if that's true with Jeff Goldblum's appearance in Fallen Kingdom), Jigsaw plays strongly in the sense that if you go without seeing, recalling, or keeping in mind Saw 4-7, you will be okay. Hoffman is completely out of the picture in Jigsaw, never once mentioned or concerned about. The only traits to be aware of in those films was that John lost a child, was once in a relationship with Jill Tuck, and there was an autopsy performed on his body. In fact, you could just as easily disregard specifics about Saw II and Saw III, and you will probably be okay. Knowing that John Kramer was killed in the third film just might be enough.
This one really mostly plays off the first film to be most effective, though. Aside from the elaborateness of the traps and games being made (which could transition more smoothly seeing the other seven films first), we can leave the first film understanding that a cancer- stricken individual puts victims in life-or-death scenarios because of moral sins they have committed, and if killed get a puzzle piece cut out of their bodies. Seasoned individuals will also find some of the twists in the new film somewhat predictable simply because they know how Jigsaw thinks (or really, how the writers think). There were over a half-dozen twists, and I probably guessed or suspected the majority of them. Didn't make the film any inferior because I'm sitting and thinking about the casual moviegoer experiencing this film, and I think the best thing you can do for yourself now is at least see the first film and heck even at most know the outcome of the original trilogy. Saw IV, V, VI and The Final Chapter now all end up being fan-service flicks, unless any Jigsaw sequels end up coming back to them more than they have now.
I liked this movie. It could've been a complete garbage escapade like the seventh film was, and it wasn't. This reignites the franchise after it had stalled out and breathes fresh air. Maybe we will get a couple more within the next few Halloweens, because there is something to explore but I don't know how they'll want to do it. It is up to their creative bones now, and I like that facet of it because they can make good films if they try their darnedest in doing so.
If this film interests you enough that you want to give the first film a chance and haven't yet, go to Netflix right now to check it out, consider completing the original trilogy if you loved it enough to see what happens next, and check out this film when you're able to. I've reached my 1000-word limit, so now I'll just leave you here with my franchise ranking:
1, 3, 6, 2, J, 5, 4, 7
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