Cinema’s most ghastly sicko has returned. Over six years until 2010, the mortifying serial killer Jigsaw has been demoralizing his victims over the course of the Saw franchise, with each kill becoming more and more vile than the last. Now 7 years later from Saw 3D : The Final Chapter, comes the reboot, a soulless horror flick that doesn’t have the same effective plot twist like the others. For those who are not familiar with these films, it centers around Jigsaw, who’s real name is John Kramer, a terminally ill man who invents extravagant death traps, designed to torture and kill sinners in revolting ways. The films always ended with a jaw-dropping twist, but as the franchise went on those twists got less and less shocking.
Jigsaw though still begins in much like the same way as the rest of the franchise, a room setup with our first trap with Kramer’s booming voice demanding the victim confess their crimes. In this film five strangers wake from a drug-induced sleep, chained by the neck to a wall wearing a metal hood. The victims either confess their crimes or die. What follows is quite similar to what we were given in Saw IV, an extreme team building day, as these five new victims must join forces to have any chance of survival. As bodies begin to start surfacing, cops are left baffled, since John Kramer has been dead for over a decade. So they assume it’s the workings of a copycat killer.
We’re introduced to an edgy police office named Halloran, a forensic pathologist named Logan and the Jigsaw obsessed assistant Eleanor, all trying to piece together clues to find out where are new victims are and if Jigsaw is truly alive. As we viewers try to decipher which one of them, if any, is the new Jigsaw copycat or accomplice. The plot is basically a combination of leftover pieces of Saw and Saw IV, and whatever else was still lying around from the franchise, which normally would be fine but it’s been an overused process with the franchise since director James Wan departed after Saw II. Yes, the basic components of the Saw franchise are still present, but what emerges from this cinematic universe is something that is a less passable entry in the series.
Jigsaw the movie feels clean, sterile and objective. That approach fails to put the audience in the position of the victims. We stare at them, interested but not invested, and at stages, the movie looks like a straight to DVD or Blu-ray type effort. I feel the film-makers haven’t put any extra effort to make this reboot as compelling and impressive as the rest of the series. What I felt was the worst thing is that the filmmakers weren’t even interested in making this movie exactly what it primarily is….a game. We’ve become accustomed to watching Jigsaw’s complex machinery takedown victims, followed by a final revelation, that’s shocking, violent and most of all unpredictable. But this time we’re left with a confusing, boring, plot twist that contains no psychological factor at all.
Granted this is brothers Michael and Peter Spierig’s first attempt at being involved in the franchise and tried solidly to reset Saw to its factory settings. They’ve stuck with the core elements of the movies, zero comedy factor, one-dimensional characterization, bland acting, not-so-famous actors and a twist at the end. But for me, this Jigsaw seems somewhat tamer than in his previous movies, and this plot seems less sharp and definitely less horrific. Since Saw II every sequel has attempted to re-create the same brilliant story with basic motions, but they’ve never demonstrated what made the franchise so dynamic in the first place.
Since James Wan’s departure from these movies, Jigsaw the movie has become exactly what the rest of the movies were, a sheer cash grabbing discouragement. Or perhaps the Spierig brothers were attempting to cater for a generation of kids who never grew up being a
part of the 2004 masterpiece. Whatever the objective, this movie failed to bring back what only James Wan would be capable of.