“Jigsaw” has revealed itself as is the latests bad attempt to revive one of the best horror franchises that marked a generation. Certainly not the worst horror movie you’ll ever watch, if your film interests include grisly murder machines and absurd story lines. But if you’re a fan of the original franchise, disappointment may be waiting for you.
John Kramer, the notorious Jigsaw killer played by Tobin Bell, was first introduced back in 2004 with the original, “Saw.” Kramer is dying from a frontal lobe tumor in the series, and a failed suicide attempt results in a new appreciation for life. His attempts to recreate this epiphany for others by creating different tests for people.
These tests include a series of death traps where Jigsaw doesn’t intend to kill his victims, but to see if they have the will to do what is necessary to survive. Jigsaw meets his unfortunate end in “Saw III,” cancer, but continues his maniacal games audio tapes and acolytes, spread out across a total of seven films. Now 10 years after Kramer’s death, the murders have started all over again through a copycat killer, or so it seems.
Directed by the Spierig brothers Peter and Michael, this edition picks back up the franchise seven years after the “Final Chapter,” and has all of the elements of the original film with little to no shock value. As if the directors regurgitated leftover pieces of the original films, this addition poorly executed original characteristics, leaving viewers disinterested in any of the characters lives, and even the killer’s motive.
Thankfully, there are still two storylines that intertwine, one being the murders taking place inside Jigsaw’s death trapped barn, and the other is the detective case trying to find and put an end to the killer.
The detectives in the new film spend a lot of time trying to figure out who the killer is, since Kramer has been dead for 10 years, and their scope is very limited to the characters we see in the film, no new outside element. The detectives even go so far as to suspect themselves of fowl play. Inside the death trapped barn, the film fails to put viewers inside the shoes and minds of the victims.
The acting in the film doesn’t help this either, with the characters coming off really cheesy almost as if they are reading the lines for the first time.
You end up just staring at these characters, interested but unattached because the directors did nothing to add any new horror elements with a sense of bizarre and immediate danger. There is only one new death trap that is legitimately terrifying, but overall the film is a lot cleaner and much less focused on the pain and suffering the original films were able to capture.
In all “Jigsaw” misses capturing anything that made the original films great, and sadly, doesn’t feel much like part of the franchise. The film feels very rushed and the death traps are presented with little to no terror or glorification of the original franchise.
The story line doesn’t fit very well with the original film, and kind of feels a lot like a spin off.