Well, Halloween is over, and we all need to wait another year to go out as a creature that bumps into the night. Erm, yeah that actually does sound pretty disturbing: moving on. Even though everyone’s favorite fright night is over, that doesn’t mean we have to stop watching horrormovies. In fact I am certainly not planning on stopping with them anytime soon. It’s now been seven years since the last Saw movie sawed itself into our brains (oh, come on, you had to know I would at least include one pun like this). Marked as the final chapter, this movie was really an alltime low for the franchise, and ended the series in a truly bad way. The original Saw was a great thriller, but the series as a whole quickly degenerated into torture porn and became for many a sort of guilty pleasure. But it turns out that in horror adding the “final chapter” to your title, just means: until it’s time to make some money again. And that’s why this year the franchise returns to the big screen with the 8th installment, Jigsaw. The big question is: are we going back to it’s thriller roots, or are bodyparts, intestines, brains and everything else that’s supposed to be inside a human body going to come flying out again…..?
The movie starts in the middle of a highspeed police chase that ends with the criminal crashing his car. He manages to survive the crash though, and escapes to a nearby rooftop, with the police in hot pursuit. With nowhere left to run, the man who is known as Edgar Munsen, turns around holding a trigger device in his hand. He calls out to the police to quickly bring out detective Halloran, or else people will start to die. With Halloran arriving on the scene the police eventually have no choice but to shoot Edgar, but not before he manages to activate the trigger. With this act, over the course of several days, bodies are beginning to turn up throughout the city. All people who seem to have come to a violent end. An expert forensic pathologist called Logan is called in to do an autopsy on the first victim. As it turns out, the murder bears an uncanny resemblance to a string of homicides that were committed more than ten years ago by a man known as John Kramer. Most people know him as the serial killer Jigsaw. The truly disturbing fact though, is that Jigsaw has been dead for ten years……..
I think there are probably two questions burning in everyone’s mind right now. The first: is this movie better than the atrocious part VII? The second: are we back to torture porn, or is this actually more along the lines of the first one? Well, let’s start with question number one as it’s the easiest to answer. Jigsaw is definitely much better than the final chapter. Of course the last part was so horribly bad that it was almost impossible to deliver a movie that was even worse. But in all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Jigsaw explored the roots of the original movie, and was therefore less gruesome than all the previous sequels. So I guess I already answered the second question as well now. The movie certainly contained gore, it is a horrormovie after all, but except for a small scene at the end it never went completely overboard. And this was actually quite refreshing.
And then there are two things this franchise is also known for, and those are the clever traps and the twist at the end. Both of these were of course present in this movie as well. The traps however, were slightly disappointing. As sick as this sounds, those were the things that made the sequels so much fun to watch and on that department the movie doesn’t deliver as strongly. I did quite enjoy the twist at the end though. Several other reviews for the movie pointed out that the movie failed on that front too, but I have to say I disagree. The end of the movie was one of the better parts of the film, and actually quite clever. The characters of the film, are pretty much forgettable. Detective Halloran played by Callum Keith Rennie is simply not a person you get a lot of sympathy for. The main heroine of the movie, who is trying her best to survive the horrible game she is in, is portrayed by Laura Vandervoort. Most people might know her from the tv series Bitten. She is the only one in the film that you can at least grow a bit of an attachment to, and she plays quite a good and strong female role.
After seven years the Saw franchise is back with a pretty decent installment. It certainly doesn’t reinvent the genre, and doesn’t come close to being as good as the original movie. If you are fan though, you are going to be entertained, and I think in a pretty good way. It will be interesting to see, if this movie is now going to be a restart of the franchise. I certainly would not be opposed to seeing more films if they are on the same level as this eight film. In all likelyhood I would not be very surprised to see it quickly fall back to over the top gore and torture. In other words, there will be blood….oh yes….
I give Jigsaw a 7 out of 10 score.