How about one more horror review before taking a break from that shit for a while? And this is appropriate considering I kicked off Harefooted Halloween 2017 with Saw I-VII. After marathoning those fuckin’ things Jigsaw had to be seen. Not because I became such a fan of the series but because it was all still fresh in my mind. This was the best shot this film was gonna get from me. And how would a new installment compare seven years later to a group of pictures that were all shot consecutively seven years in a row?
Well to get right to the point this is sadly probably the worst Saw movie in the bunch now. It comes off like someone trying to remember what these pictures were like only having seen one of them a long time ago. They managed to stick to the two main trademarks of the series, traps and plot twists, but they’re both handled so goddamn sloppily. Let’s briefly go over both.
First the traps. Almost all of these fuckers in the previous movies required the victim to complete some sort of mechanical action (which also usually caused unbearable self-inflicted pain) in order to prevent the insidious contraption from killing you or someone you know. They were more or less self-contained. In Jigsaw the victims need to get out of the traps by doing something only a human can recognize and that can’t be understood by a machine. This is not in keeping with the franchise. Here you need to do shit like inject someone with a syringe full of an unknown substance to free you from your neck collar, or you need to verbally confess your crimes to prevent lasers from splitting your head open, or you need to get slashed by a spinning blade and spill some blood to release the metal bucket on your head (and these aren’t those table saws that can sense flesh and retract, these stay put and shut off when it senses even a tiny amount of blood). So Jigsaw needs to be standing there watching the whole game play out with his finger on the button waiting for the exact moment to advance someone when they do what he wants them to. And we know from the other films he does not have time for that shit. He has so many traps to construct and people to spy on and cancer treatment to go to and other crap. He’s an extremely busy person.
One trap with sharp metal objects falling onto the victims in a claustrophobic silo particularly doesn’t work. This is in the middle of the game so any one of the knives or pitchforks coming down could prematurely kill someone. In the past there was typically a way to survive these things if you can hack it. It’s not supposed to be pure luck.
The one trap that’s in the vein of the original series is the sawed off shotgun loaded with one shell. It lies in between two people and they have to decide who will use it. The twist with it is pure Saw and makes me think this was leftover from one of the other movies because it’s way too clever compared to the rest of the picture.
The other big thing the filmmakers fucked up are the twists. The storyline is more convoluted than ever, even to the point where I’m not sure how the last ten minutes (which is what I’m really talking about here) fit together with the other installments. The crazy sidewinder turns these movies would take used to be sincerely, and even pleasantly, surprising. All the twists in this one are just perplexing without the added enjoyment of it somehow satisfyingly fitting in with the overall scheme of things.
And maybe I’ve developed some sort of intuition when it comes to these fuckin’ movies but I correctly guessed what the ending was about half way in. So when they got to the big reveal it didn’t have much of an impact. I think the structure of the story and the editing telegraphed too much which a savvy viewer can pick up on. Events happen too close together for them to make sense so there’s a weird timeline issue that’s confusing but at the same time only leads to one logical conclusion if you think about it for a sec.
Oh boy, in Jigsaw everything you liked about the Saw films feels dumb and everything you thought was dumb about the Saw films feels a helluva lot dumber. Better luck next time.