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.
As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.
Following Jigsaw's grisly demise, Mark Hoffman is commended as a hero, but Agent Strahm is suspicious, and delves into Hoffman's past. Meanwhile, another group of people are put through a series of gruesome tests.
12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
Ten years after the death of John Kramer, criminal Edgar Munsen is shot and apprehended by Detectives Hunt and Halloran after activating a remote trigger. Meanwhile, five people - Mitch, Anna, Ryan, Carly, and an unconscious man, are held captive in a barn with shackles around their necks. A tape recording from Kramer explains they must give a sacrifice of blood and confess their sins. The chains pull them towards a wall of buzz-saws. Most of the group survive by cutting themselves to offer blood, but the unconscious man awakens too late to escape. Their next test reveals that Carly is a purse snatcher who accidentally caused the death of an asthmatic woman. To save the others from being hanged, she must inject herself with one of three needles - one containing an antidote to a poison in her system, one containing saline, and one containing acid. Ryan stabs Carly with all three to save himself, killing her..
Tobin Bell expressed after the success of the film that future films featuring John Kramer and him appearing alongside other slasher horror icons was not an interest of his for the character. See more »
In he car chase opening scene, the car runs over a harrow set by the police, but in the next shot, the front right tire is not flat. See more »
Since the Saw franchise is one of my biggest guilty pleasures when it comes to horror, I've been hoping for a new installment ever since The Final Chapter was supposed to end the franchise back in 2010. Even though the movies got progressively worse, there is something about this franchise that always draws me back and makes me want to re-watch it.
I had high expectations for Jigsaw because of two reasons: one, the producers stated in an interview that they were offered more than a hundred scripts for a new movie from different writers, but had never been pleased with any of them until they discovered a script so good, which ultimately got picked to be adapted; second, the Spierig brothers, Jigsaw's directors, had previously directed Predestination, such a smart and enticing sci-fi time- travel movie that I liked quite a lot.
After seeing Jigsaw, I left the theater disappointed. I'll start with what I enjoyed:
The score by Charlie Clouser is just as fabulous as it has always been and manages to go in line perfectly with each scene.
The performances didn't bother me at all, although none of the actors really gets to shine. Laura Vandervoort and Paul Braunstein stood out here, with the latter generating some funny moments worthy of admiration.
The direction was very polished and the movie was competently filmed, but the Spierig brothers weren't given much to show their creativity on. This leads me to the negatives.
The CGI is very good. There is, however, one scene in which I was feeling as if I was watching one of the most recent Resident Evil movies and that didn't really work for me.
What I didn't like:
The ideas in this movie and its overall plot are somewhat underdeveloped. I know that this is supposed to be a new "beginning" for these movies, but as a franchise starter, I wanted more to be explored. The plot falls flat because the movie cuts from scene to scene so swiftly and tries to cram multiple narratives into 85 minutes, that ultimately none of them makes an impact.
Saw is known for its visceral traps and torture devices, so I was looking forward to seeing more of that. However, the game presented in this movie has next to no memorable traps. That is because they are a lot tamer than what we've seen before and they simply can't hold a candle to all the ingenious traps from the past movies.
The character development is another issue in this movie. The characters are so uni-dimensional, with some of them being there only to fill the screen. And I'm referring to some of the main casting here. Also, character arcs are left unfinished and the movie felt like it ended when the most important part of the story was about to happen.
The editing undermines what could've been some very suspenseful scenes because of its sloppiness, by cutting from one narrative (the game) to the other (the investigation) at random moments.
Now, it all comes down to the twist. Was it good and unexpected? Well, no, not really. It's not necessarily because you can predict it from miles away (for which the movie offers hints throughout the run-time) due to its small set of characters, but because it had no resonance for me. It didn't blow me away and you could've predicted it from the marketing of the movie alone. Just like with the traps, it just doesn't have the same visceral feel as the past movies and it doesn't really make you crave for the release of the next chapter.
Overall, Jigsaw sets itself apart from the previous movies in the series with the help of the two directors who manage to make the movie look stylish and slick, but ultimately, it doesn't succeed in creating the sense of urgency that some of the old movies had and, sadly, disappoints on almost every other level. And yes, there are fan-service moments, but as a fan of this franchise, I felt very little excitement when they happened.
Hopefully, if the movie does well in terms of box office, the sequel will improve upon this franchise "reinvention".
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