By MOLLY HOLT
“Jigsaw,” the newest movie in the “Saw” franchise, is a failure. This lm takes the premise of the original seven films in the series and throws it out of the window. The “Saw” movies have never been all that serious, but this movie takes the comedic aspect of horror movies to a new level. It is funny that it is such a bad movie.
The “Saw” series had ended rather abruptly, leaving fans with more questions than answers about Jigsaw and his accomplices. For that reason, there had been talk of a new sequel for years. However, “Jigsaw” did not answer any questions fans were left with, but instead gave them an entire new set of questions and continuity errors.
“Jigsaw” takes place ten years after the death of the famed Jigsaw killer, John Kramer. Despite his death, a series of dead bodies have began to appear with recordings of Jigsaw’s voice. The question that drives the lm is: if Jigsaw has been dead for ten years, how is he still killing people? The obvious answer is that a copycat is on the loose, but instantly everyone in the movie is convinced it is a member of the police department.
This idea is nothing new. It makes no sense why everyone is shocked that the Jigsaw murders are occurring. Jigsaw died at the end of the third “Saw” movie, yet the murders continued for four more movies. In what used to be called “Saw: The Final Chapter” but has now been renamed “Saw 3D”, the audience finally learns the identities of Jigsaw’s accomplices. The “Jigsaw” movie just pretends that this didn’t happen. This movie acts as though, after Kramer died, there were never any other murders.
The movie did contain a soundtrack that consisted of a more modern version of the “Saw” theme music. The movie did also feature Tobin Bell as John Kramer. It is nice to have those familiar elements in the new sequel. However, if those two elements were not in the film, it would be hard to tell that this movie was a part of the series.
The “Saw” franchise isn’t exactly known for its dialogue or acting. Those elements were never the strong point of the movies, but “Jigsaw” took this to a new level. The dialogue was disconnected, lazy, and childlike, and every line was said in the most cliché manner. Granted, most horror movies sound incredibly cliché, but the lines and line delivery were so bad that it almost seemed intentionally cringe-y in order to create a comedic effect. But it wasn’t a comedic effect – it was not like that with a single character, a single joke or a single scene. The entire movie was performed like that. It made it impossible to take anyone or anything seriously.
The new movie seemed more like a bad crime drama than a horror movie. Unlike the previous “Saw” movies, “Jigsaw” focused more on figuring out which member of the crime unit was corrupt instead of the people in the traps. “Saw” movies are known for their traps, that is what makes them stand out. They are gore filled, poorly written, intense films with crazy plot twists. There was not nearly as much gore in “Jigsaw” and the scenes were never that intense. However, the plot twist was crazy, not because it was a shocking plot twist, but because it was ridiculous and made no sense.
The motive of John Kramer was completely lost in this movie. He was fueled by this idea that people who did not appreciate their life and used their life to hurt others should be tested, and if they passed the test, they would get to live with a newfound appreciation for life. That philosophy is mentioned in this movie, but isn’t what drives the new copycat. The copycat was driven by revenge.
This movie also pegged Jigsaw as this all knowing being, instead of just an observant, twisted guy. The traps that were set for the victims were based on specific details of crimes that were never prosecuted, that by no logical way, anyone could ever know. For example, one victim had stolen $3.53 from a woman’s purse and left that woman to die in the process. This act occurred in a back alley, away from anyone. There is no way Jigsaw could have known she stole exactly $3.53 unless he was standing next to her at the exact moment she took the money. This also begs the question – if he was close enough to see how much money she took, isn’t he just as guilty since he did not help the dying woman? It doesn’t make sense, and completely shatters any chance of the lm being realistic, ruining any chance “Jigsaw” had of being scary.
Overall, the film was not the best. If you are a die hard “Saw” fan, you have to see the movie because curiosity is going to get the best of you. Do not expect any answers to any of the questions the series left you with because you will not get them. You will get to see John again and hear that classic voice on the tapes. You will get to see the creepy puppet riding a tricycle. But you will not get to hear the iconic line “Game Over,” and that will probably be the most disappointing part of the entire movie. But if you’re not a “Saw” fanatic, are looking for a laugh and still want to be able to sleep at night, this mediocre lm may be the right fit for you.