By Max Cao
“Jigsaw” is the eighth chapter in the “Saw” franchise following the Jigsaw killer’s games and giving all new thrills while staying with the roots of the old films. The movie is directed by Michael and Peter Spierig and was released on Oct. 27– a few days before Halloween, just like each “Saw” film ever released.
The film stars Tobin Bell, Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Paul Braunstein, Lauren Vandervoort, Brittany Allen, and Mandela Van Peebles. “Jigsaw” is about four victims captured by the Jigsaw killer (Bell) who is intent on punishing them for wrongs they have committed. They must confess their sins in order to win Jigsaw’s “game”.
Meanwhile, in the outside world, detectives are investigating the anonymous Jigsaw killer who was presumed dead years prior but has returned and resumed his killing of criminals.
In Jigsaw’s game, the four victims remaining must go through a series of tests and complete them successfully in order to complete the game, each test requiring the player to make critical actions and sacrifices, such as cutting off a limb or injecting mysterious syringes.
While there is plenty to criticize in the film, it does an excellent job with the traps. Almost all of the traps will leave the audience at the edge of their seats wondering if the victim will survive. There will be blood, gore, tears, and effort in every trap sequence giving the audience plenty of horror that these films are known for.
There are also traps influenced by the crimes, for example, Mitch’s (Van Peebles) trap includes a motorcycle running what seems to a giant metal spiral that narrows as the person descends down and shred them apart. This trap is inspired by Mitch’s crime, where he sold a broken motorcycle with malfunctioned brakes, killing the buyer. There are more of these homages for the victims throughout the movie.
“Jigsaw” doesn’t only return for more gore and games, but the return of Bell playing as the Jigsaw killer. His character design gives the audience a calm feeling with his wise sayings, low voice, and steady motions, but everyone knows deep down he is a murderer powered by vengeance. Jigsaw’s backstory isn’t fully shown in this film but in the previous “Saw” films, and each shows a moment of his past healthy life in each movie, leaving the viewers of the series to piece it all together.
Although “Jigsaw” doesn’t have as much screen time as most horror films, it has enough time to present the audience the agony the victims and crime investigators are going through. The crime investigators must go to mysterious buildings while the victims are depending on the police. Aside from the traps and story, the “Saw” series is best known for their gruesome and terrifying action and “Jigsaw” definitely returns with that recognition. In Ryan’s (Braunstein) trap he gets his leg stuck between a bundle of wires which are ready to slice his leg into pieces. While he’s stuck, the other victims accidentally got themselves in a small circular room where it is slowly getting flooded with sand as sharp objects descend from the ceiling. These moments are definitely terrifying and hard to watch.
“Jigsaw” is an amazing sequel to the “Saw” franchise and will not disappoint those who love a bloody and shocking horror movie.