01st Mar2018

‘Jigsaw’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, Matt Passmore, Hannah Emily Anderson, Tobin Bell, Laura Vandervoort, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black, Edward Ruttle, Michael Boisvert, Sam Koules, Troy Feldman, Shaquan Lewis | Written by Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg | Directed by Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

jigsaw-blu

To be fair to the Saw movies, it was no surprise that they would eventually bring it back; and when Jigsaw was announced, one of the main questions had to be how to bring back John Kramer (Tobin Bell)? If he was brought back at all? Well now we have our answer…

When bodies start turning up around the city, it seems that Jigsaw may have returned. With him being dead though, is it the work of a copycat, or has Kramer somehow returned from the grave ten years after his reign of terror?

If you were a fan of the original Saw films then you’ll know the formula that this film uses. You have a number of victims, a few intricate traps, and of course plenty of gory violence as the killer does away with his prey. John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, based his murders around morality, and thankfully Jigsaw continues this trend. Each victim has to confess to their sins to survive, and most meet a fitting end based on those sins. What differs with this film though is a certain ‘clean’ feeling to the film that takes away some of the grittiness of the original and in some ways this feels like trying to modernise and create a more mainstream horror event.

For Saw fans though, this is somewhat of a mistake. Gone are the yellow colours that were used in the original films to give the film the feeling of sickness, and in is a sterilised horror where even the blood seems to have been cleaned up. The gore may be still in place, but the amount of blood on-screen seems to be minimalised. This works to lessen the affect of the kills somewhat, which is a shame, but it also brings the story to the forefront.

If you take notice to what is happening on the screen, the twist at the end will not really be a surprise. The clues are in what you see, and where the original Saw movies tended to force twist upon twist to confuse the audience, in this the characters are more basic and telegraphed.

We have two detectives, Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Hunt (Clé Bennett) on the trail of the killer. We then have two people working in forensics, Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) who turns out to be the main character in the film, and Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Emily Anderson) who has an interesting hobby relating to the subject matter. These are the characters that are searching for the truth behind the new Jigsaw killers, and of course we see the tortures taking place as the killer plays his game.

It feels a shame somewhat that the killings we see feel a little too inspired by the original films, it doesn’t feel as innovative in its gore than we’ve seen before. Saw was seen as torture porn in the past, and that is because the films seem to enjoy ripping into flesh and tearing bodies apart. In Jigsaw, it is more about showing John Kramer is still somehow still killing from beyond the grave.

While Jigsaw does feel somewhat more mainstream in its horror style, it does manage to envelop itself in Saw lore, and continue the story of John Kramer and the legacy he created. If you watch this as a film separate from the originals, and one that is looking at the possibility of starting a new franchise, then you may end up liking it. It sets up a new path for Jigsaw well, but it may not be exactly what fans of the original want.

I found myself liking Jigsaw but was still left feeling that this wasn’t really Saw. If anything, this feels very much like the Hellraiser sequels (those past the original three) some of which were quite watchable and often even turned out above average. In the end though, they weren’t the original Hellraiser, they were was just based on the mythology the original films created. That is what Jigsaw feels like in comparison to the Saw movies; and that isn’t a bad thing, especially when it manages to not only be entertaining but has the potential to continue the legacy of Jigsaw’s design.

**** 4/5

Jigsaw is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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