On sale 26th February from Lionsgate, directed by the Spierig Brothers.
After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?
The franchise that won’t die despite its main character dying several sequels ago, Jigsaw is the eighth instalment in the Saw saga and an attempt to reboot the series.
With Saw: The Final Chapter in 2010 the torture porn genre seemingly saw the end of its most famous poster child. After seven movies in as many years the concept had ran out of steam. Part four onwards witnessed the films go for more far out and disturbing death scenes while trying to maintain the now deceased character of John Kramer via ever more convoluted and nonsensical swerves and flashbacks.
Seven years later and the horror commodity is back. Only die hard fans will have been excited by this, myself included. Much was made about the new direction the series would take and the vision of the directors involved. While these things do happen in Jigsaw the old bad habits of its predecessors also remain.
The negatives are that the over the top and gratuitous violence is toned down which will no doubt disappoint some. Another issue is that the swerve at the end, there’s always a swerve in a Saw flick, shoots more holes into the logic and supposed events of the previous entries. Some of what is revealed will have the viewer scratching their heads.
There are positives, though. Although a lack of violence has been cited as a negative it can be seen as as positive because at least The Spierig’s are truly trying to take the Saw franchise in a different direction. The setting of the film can be seen as another effort in this regard. Instead of some random, abandoned building or factory this time the victims are trapped in an old barn. The cinematography is of a different nature due to this, making Jigsaw visually a very different movie compared to the other sequels.
The Spierig Brothers also attempt to make a more unique Saw sequel with the use of humour. There are a few sight gags thrown in during the run time but the character of Ryan is the most evident use of comedy. The man that plays this character, Paul Braunstein, gives one of the most memorable performances.
Of course another plus is Tobin Bell.
The Spierig Brothers also directed Predestination (2014), which is an excellent movie.
The extras on the DVD are a brief video exploring some of the props used (which reveals a lot of the older ones had to be remade as they were given away after Saw VII) and feature length documentary The Legacy of Saw. It’s essentially a fluff piece, with the cast and crew all saying how excited they are and their belief this will be a great way to kickstart the series again. The Spierig Brothers go into more detail about why they changed the direction of Saw.