Jigsaw is the eighth installment of a series of that has laid dormant and unmissed for the last seven years. It’s hard to remember, but the original Saw started as a much buzzed about art-house indie back in the early naughts. Lionsgate smartly realized they had something and ran with the franchise, along with Tyler Perry’s output, Saw established the mini-major as a force in the industry. So, having exhausted virtually every other one of their creative properties, the studio has given Saw a glossy reboot that lacks any sort of inventiveness, intensity, or likable characters.
This film again follows the formula set up in Saw II-VII; a group of people must verbalize their darkest secrets, fears, and desires in order to survive a vicious obstacle course of death. The orchestrator of these violent “games” is Jigsaw aka John Kramer (Toby Bell). But is it the presumed deceased Kramer or a new copycat killer who is behind the disappearance of 5 new victims?
Having been helmed by the talented directing duo of Michael and Peter Spierig, I was expecting a whole lot more. Their previous films have been inventive, well-shot, and excelled in areas that typically trip up newer filmmakers. The look of the picture has been polished up, the gore has been toned down, and the whole film is written so broadly that we wait as cast members are killed off to get to an ending reversal that is a howler. The series’ high point is still the tightly written and directed, Saw II, courtesy of Darren Lynn Bousman. Jigsaw is a dreadful, and worse, dull movie.
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Laura Vandervoort, Tobin Bell, Mandela Van Peebles