2004’s Saw brought about the next horror boogeyman. John Kramer (Tobin Bell) became the tactical and wielding hand of retribution. The familiar score from Charlie Clouser rang through seven iterations of twists, turns, and misdirects. While giving horror fans some of the goriest scenarios in a long time. The Saw franchise is a demented version of Clue. As the series went on, it lost a little steam seemly ending with 2010’s Saw 3D.
Apparently, the past is not going to stay dead. Enter Jigsaw, our newest entry into the Saw franchise directed by The Spierig Brothers. Not so much a reboot, but a continuation of the main points of the story Jigsaw starts ten years after the death of John Kramer. How can this be? Didn’t we watch Kramer die in 2006’s Saw III? Like the tagline of that movie, maybe legends never die?
While the movie follows the similar guise of putting people in elaborate traps as punishment for their sins (some conveniently tied to Kramer), most of the movie is dedicated to investigating the possible “resurrection” of Jigsaw as many people start to turn up dead in the same fashion. The traps in Jigsaw are victims of their own success. We’ve been through seven movies of people getting dismembered in every way possible. This go around, with the exception of one trap, everything seems to be regular.
Take Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) from the first movie. Audiences had a connection with the character, so when the payoff off him sawing his own foot off came – it added an extra layer of macabre to it. You don’t really get that feeling in Jigsaw. The CGI also takes a little bit away from the shock of these fixtures as well.
Jigsaw strives to keep the legend going in the most original way it can, but you are left wondering if there’s still meat on the bone. The main story line involves Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore), a forensic pathologist who has lost his wife and Det. Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie), a cop with a past of bending the rules. The actual game seems to be an afterthought in where they try to set you up for the twist. In the earlier Saw movies, when the did the recap, there was that “Wow, I didn’t even notice that” factor. Here, the main story line and the folklore are so melted together, that it takes away from the ending. While there is credit in trying something new with it, you more so wonder how you got there.
We have been through so many proteges and Plan C’s to cover B’s that it’s impossible, as meticulous as John Kramer was to plan for all of this. If you’ve been a hardcore fan since 2004, you will already be familiar with the story and perhaps, like to see those scenarios again. However, even though there are some chances taken, it just feels like another Saw movie and not something that is going to bring about a new generation of films.