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Jigsaw review

Let the games begin, again.

Jigsaw
Credit: Lionsgate

The Saw horror franchise became synonymous with Halloween and ran for seven films between 2004-2010. The last entry was Saw 3D which was by far the weakest of the series. Despite leaving some unanswered questions, Lionsgate did the sensible thing and chose to make it the final instalment.

Seven years have passed and, just in time for Halloween, the Saw franchise has returned. The new film, Jigsaw, aims to reinvent the series and the result is one of the better films in the series.

Jigsaw is set around ten years after the death of John Kramer (Tobin Bell) who was known as the Jigsaw killer. As far as we know he died back in Saw III from terminal cancer and even had an autopsy. This time around the police are investigating a series of gruesome murders that have left them confused. The reason for the confusion is that the collected voice and DNA evidence all points to John Kramer as the killer. It makes no sense though as Jigsaw has been dead for a decade, or has he?

Watch a clip from Jigsaw below:

 

If you’re a fan of the series then the film feels instantly familiar. It’s also a film that fans are going to get the most out of as you really need to have seen the previous films to understand everything that is going on. If you aren’t familiar with what came before then Jigsaw really isn’t going to have the same impact.

The investigation is headed up by Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and his partner Detective Hunt (Clé Bennett). They are assisted by medical examiner Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) and his assistant Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson).

Meanwhile, a group of people find themselves taking part in Jigsaw’s latest set of grisly games. As usual the participants in the games have been selected based on their past decisions. The games offer the players a chance at redemption for their sins or they can die trying.

© Lionsgate – Paul Braunstein as “Ryan,” Mandela Van Peebles as “Mitch” and Laura Vandervoort as “Anna” in JIGSAW.

There have been so many traps throughout the films that it must be hard to come up with new ideas. This time around they involve plenty of chains, needles, knives and other sharp objects. The traps no longer have the same shock value they once did and this film seemed to rely on gore and long lingering shots to try and gross you out.

The new traps include lasers and even one inspired by a vegetable spiralizer which is sure to become a fan favourite. Fans will also recognise some of the traps from previous films that make an appearance in an interesting way.

As gruesome as things are, Jigsaw actually feels a bit less serious and more fun that some of the other entries. I liked the way the players had the option to work together or be selfish and look our for themselves. As a viewer you find yourself wanting to scream instructions to them and wonder what you might have done in the same situation.

View some stills from Jigsaw in our gallery:

The film does a good job of keeping you guessing right up until the end. Much of this revolves around the possibility of John Kramer somehow still being alive. Anyone who has watched the previous Saw films will also find themselves suspicious of everyone else from victims to cops. By the end I’d worked some of the twists out but others left me surprised.

Overall, Jigsaw is mostly a return to form and a decent addition to the series. If you didn’t enjoy the previous films then you’re not going to like this one either. It’s definitely worth a watch though for fans of the earlier films. The film also leaves open the option for things to continue so this might not be the last we’ve seen of Jigsaw.

Cast: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Clé Bennett, Laura Vandervoort, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig Writer: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg Released By: Lionsgate Certificate: 18 Duration: 92 mins Release Date: 26th October 2017

Watch the official Jigsaw trailer below:

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