Plot-twist lovers, thrill seekers and crime lovers will need to look no further than “Jigsaw” to find what they’re looking for.
“Jigsaw” is the eighth movie in the SAW franchise and while it does have gory scenes of gruesome deaths, the film is much more suspenseful than it is horrifying. The majority of the film focuses on solving riddles and “playing the game.” There is a touch of humor from some of the jokes made by the characters but this SAW installment is not the best, however, it’s far from being the worst.
The movie begins with a man, who we come to know as Edgar Munsen, running from the authorities and holding a remote-like device claiming that the “games” are beginning. After he is shot down, we are transported to an abandoned barn where we meet five adults each chained up by their neck.
The voice of John “Jigsaw” Kramer (Tobin Bell) sounds through a tape recording explaining that they will each need to follow the rules of the game if they wish to survive. If they do not follow the rules or try to escape, they will be killed.
It is revealed that these five adults who were chosen to participate as players in the game are criminals that got away with the murder of innocent lives due to the doings of a detective that goes by the name of Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie), who later also pays the price.
There is one thing in particular that makes “Jigsaw” similar to the previous SAW movies: the game. This may not come as a surprise given that Pasadena’s own Kevin Greutert, has editing credits on the film. Greutert has previously directed two SAW movies and has additional editing credits on five other SAW films.
When the players listen to each tape recorder at different levels of the game, it’s easy for one to find themselves lost in trying to solve the riddles and understand the rules themselves. Unlike most horror movies where it’s fairly easy to predict who is a good guy and who is a bad guy, this film leads viewers to believe they know who the killer is only to be met with a plot twist that leaves the identity of the true murderer up for debate.
In addition to the puzzling riddles that the players and the audience are met with, the players’ deaths are more real and shown with more details and effects that no other SAW movie has yet to achieve. A huge round of applause should be given for the FX makeup artists who worked on making the dead, bloody, mutilated bodies look as real as possible.
Face melting, stabbing by syringes, spiral death traps and leg amputations are some of the deaths and injuries viewers are exposed to on screen. All scenes of gruesome detail in this film are something to keep an eye out for. However, the death that is most surprising and eye catching is the face slicing done by a laser trap.
Regardless of the repetitive game brought up in every SAW movie, “Jigsaw” does offer an audience to a well-driven reintroduction to the franchise. It may not be the horrifying jump scares people are used to but it still delivers a strong storyline with a twist.