Plot: After an extensive chase, a man finds himself on a rooftop, surrounded by police and with no escape route. He claims to be part of a game and that he has to do what he is told, but the police don’t seem to care about that. He is shot in the process, but he is detained and the stand off ends. A partially decapitated corpse is soon found hanging in a public park and during the autopsy, it is learned that a puzzle piece has been carved out of the skin. This is the calling card of notorious criminal John Kramer (Tobin Bell), better known of course as Jigsaw. The problem with this evidence is that Kramer has been dead for a decade, but clearly someone has carried on his work. Meanwhile in a remote location, a small group of people have been abducted, chained up, and forced to engage in a sick game, with their lives on the line. All signs seem to point to Jigsaw, but is there a copycat killer on the loose or is Jigsaw back to play one last game, defying even the grave?
Entertainment Value: The first Saw movie was a dark, original movie that pumped new blood into the horror genre, while the sequels fine tuned a formula that called for cool traps and bursts of bloodshed. The sequels weren’t all that memorable, but they were a fun watch, as the filmmakers knew to follow the blueprint and give fans of the series what they wanted. Jigsaw decides to abandon that formula, putting the focus on a dull, cheap twist driven narrative that feels more like a rejected CSI script than a major motion picture. The movie shovels in a parade of forgettable characters, offers no cool traps whatsoever, and spends most of the duration on dull conversations and stupid twists that lead nowhere. In a series that had laid the groundwork for sequels to succeed with minimal effort, Jigsaw chooses to provide us with not only the worst movie in the franchise, but one of the worst horror films in recent years. Aside from the splashes of gore, this could be a generic television show episode, this is just an embarrassment to the series and a sham of a movie. The sequels weren’t genre classics, but they were fun and creative, this movie plays as if people who had never seen a Saw movie were at the controls of the production. Even if you are a diehard fan of the Saw series, skip this abysmal, cheap knockoff.
No nakedness. The movie does have some fun bloodshed, but sadly it is supplied by lackluster traps that barely even qualify as traps. The series was built on inventive, creative traps, so it is a shame to see these filmmakers abandon that aspect and go with weak, forgettable hazards. The most impressive gore comes from aftermath effects, such as the sliced head corpse and the acid burn victim. The movie shows us kinetic violence, but those instances aren’t nearly as effective. A head is sliced into pieces and when it falls apart, it looks like a squid, not a visceral head trauma. But the gore is the bright spot, though given the rest of the movie, that’s not a huge compliment. The dialogue is a lot of yelling and unexplained jumps in logic, but not much in terms of memorable or wild dialogue. Even the tapes that often have cool instructions seem like a poor man’s version this time around, the writers should be ashamed. The craziest part of Jigsaw is that this should have been a sure bet, as the path was there to give fans a fun movie, but the filmmakers decided instead to give the franchise a big “fuck you” and craft this boring, made for television drama. This is what happens when the guy who brought us Good Luck Chuck tries his hand at horror.
Overall Insanity: 0/10