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Jigsaw: Halloween Cash-Grab Lets Down ‘Saw’ Franchise

  • Callum Keith RennieMatt Passmore...
  • CrimeHorror
  • Michael SpierigPeter Spierig
reviewed by
Marija Djurovic
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Jigsaw: Halloween Cash-Grab Lets Down ‘Saw’ Franchise

Although it was meant to have ended its reign of torment and horror back in 2010 with Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, the franchise has returned with an eighth chapter, with Jigsaw; an expectedly gruesome but bland exercise in horror that has outstayed its welcome.

Working with two separate storylines, Jigsaw begins with a police pursuit for a criminal named Edgar Munsen (Black) who soon ends up on a rooftop where he is seen activating a trigger-device. He is quickly shot by Detective Halloran (Rennie) who, along with his partner, Detective Hunt (Bennett) is soon given a list of various murder cases to investigate which appear to follow the very same pattern of the infamous and supposedly dead Jigsaw (Tobin Bell).

Meanwhile, a group of five strangers awake to find themselves chained to a wall in a remote farmhouse. Unable to figure out what is going on, the group is soon forced to fight for their lives in order to avoid being slowly pulled towards the spinning saw blades located on the opposite wall. After figuring out a way to stop the horror from happening, the group soon uncovers a series of other carefully laid-out trips that their captor, who is willing to let them go but, only if they admit their deepest and darkest sins first.

Written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, with The Spierig brothers – see 2010’s Daybreakers – working the cameras, fans of the long-running franchise will find plenty to feast their eyes upon. Returning to its violent and gory ways, Jigsaw is bloody and unforgiving and very much in the classic Saw set-up.  However, whereas its predecessors managed to deliver and sustain the intensity and freshness to the torture techniques seen over the years – with James Wan’s 2004’s Saw still standing as one of the franchise’s best – the latest addition unfortunately doesn’t.

Having been absent from the big screen for a total of seven years, the novelty of The Jigsaw Killer – whose death we witnessed five films ago – has now worn thin and watching him return from the dead is wholly ineffective. Going through the story’s plot points in the most uninspired and mechanical way possible, Jigsaw is dreary and silly in nature, with its lack of creativity most evident in the creation of the traps and puzzles laid out for the characters to overcome. The detective part of the story, which could serve as a T.V crime-show pilot, is equally feeble with the chatty dialogue exchanges only diverting the viewers from the relentless gruesomeness taking place at the farm.

More of the same seems to be the fitting description for this latest Halloween offering. Bloody and gory but also laborious and uncreative, fans will probably walk out happy, but even they won’t be able to turn a blind eye to Jigsaw’s overall inferiority and shameless attempt at a much overdo Halloween cash-grab.

Like This? Try

Audition (1999), Saw (2004), Hostel (2005)

360 Tip

Despite the ups and downs over the years, The Saw franchise is still one of the most successful and lucrative horror-film franchises of all time, with total earnings grossing a total of $873.3 million worldwide.

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