Movie Review: Jigsaw (2017)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Matt Passmore and Laura Vandervoort

Directed by: Michael and Peter Spierig

10 years after the infamous Jigsaw killer died, bodies start turning up around the city to imply a copycat killer until the clues left behind on the bodies point towards the deceased.

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since the first Saw movie hit the big screen and since then a further six movies followed until a reboot of the Jigsaw Killer came out last year aptly titled, Jigsaw, to make it the eighth movie to centre around the sadistic killer. The first movie is head and shoulders above its sequels and although it doesn’t contain much in the way of blood and gore, the story is thrilling and that ending!! One of the best plot twists in a movie that I can think and something that I don’t think anybody anticipated. The second Saw movie is the best of the rest as it continues to build John Kramer as this evil mastermind while adding a lot more horror and gore into the movie. After Saw II the movies slowly started declining in quality as the movie producers and powers that be tried to milk the Jigsaw character for every last penny. A few years then went by without a Saw movie hitting the movie theatres until last year, the reboot of the Jigsaw story and a continuation of the infamous character was released and initially I had no desire to watch it but after stumbling across it on Netflix a couple nights ago I was intrigued to see where the story went.

Jigsaw started off surprisingly well as the main characters/game players are established and the trial of torture that they must endure to “win” is uncovered. I love Tobin Bell’s (Jigsaw) voice as he has the most idealistic raspy and menacing voices which suits the role so perfectly. Billy the puppet is creepy and eerie as usual with that horrifying laugh of his and it’s enough to instil fear and terror in the latest batch of victims as well as the audience. While I don’t expect fantastic acting in movies such as this I was pretty taken aback by the overall quality of acting work from a large portion of the cast and while there were a couple of mediocre to poor performances this was to be expected so I can’t complain too much.

The blood and the gore was infrequent but very gruesome when it was on display as some of Jigsaw’s “contestants” met their demise. Some of the new torture techniques were unique while some felt a little reused but how many more imaginative ways are there for these movies to kill somebody with? Surely all avenues have been explored by now. The story moved at a nice pace as the focus chopped and changed from the barn of torture to the detectives and forensic investigators trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on and whether John Kramer was back from the dead.

As I was watching the movie I was a little shocked at how good it was panning out but the last 20 minutes or so really brought this movie crashing down and spoilt my overall enjoyment of what could’ve been a very successful relaunch of the Saw franchise. Due to how successful the first Saw movie was in terms of quality, suspense and as I mentioned before, the plot twist at the end, Jigsaw felt as though it was trying to emulate its origins by producing some out of this world plot twist to leave the audience dumbfounded. Unfortunately the writers tried to sneak in a couple of last minute plot and character twists to try and wow the audience but by the end it simply felt like a deflated, over complicated mess that should’ve been kept both simple and straight forward. Other than the ending, which pointed the finger at at least 3 different people in the space of 10 minutes other than John Kramer as the one responsible for the newest wave of sick torture games, the movie was solid and enjoyable.

Overall, Jigsaw is a very good movie providing you watch the first hour and ten minutes only as the final twenty minutes or so really did do the rest of the movie justice. Still watchable but the disappointing finale does leave a bit of a sour taste in the mouth.

6/10

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