About a year ago, I posted a review revolving around Saw and mildly touching on the beginning of the sub-genre known as torture porn. I mention that the franchise went on for arguably too long, and should have died off long ago. But as Hollywood does as Hollywood does, they attempted to revive the franchise with Jigsaw, or the original more apt title, Saw Legacy.
Since the franchise is used to weaving twists and previous installments into their films, Jigsaw is no different, but I’ll attempt to leave the spoilers for this film out, but fair play for the franchise.
The plot/premise is very simple (as it always is), it’s been ten years (in film time) since John Kramer was killed (Saw III), and all was safe, or at least safer without a “killer” on the loose. Kramer (Tobin Bell) never considered himself as a killer, since the fate was always left in the participant’s hands. A loophole challenged when his proteges took over and made traps that are inescapable.
Regardless, it’s been a long time since Kramer’s bloody leave of absence when victims began reappearing, each missing a jigsaw piece of flesh, as per his past signature which meant the victim was missing a piece of the puzzle to survive. Their own wills to live.
Fans of the series are aware of the pre-recorded messages as Kramer was very precise and would plan far in advance. It isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility that he would or could make plans for a decade later.
This film feels very much like a Saw film. Typical A plot of the investigation, followed by the B plot of the participants. And this is both a good and a bad thing. The Spierig Brothers (known for both Ethan Hawke entries, Daybreakers and Predestination) enter the franchise and add to the convoluted storyline, but they don’t add to it, other than potentially another chapter since it still leaves a few more loose ends than The Final Chapter did.
They pay respects by making a film that fits anywhere its own lexicon. In fact, there’s a great sequence in which we see some of the most iconic traps from the franchise. We see the past as we begrudgingly move forward, maybe. We truly remember and feel the legacy of the franchise in front of our eyes for these moments.
The truth is the film is not a great film, but none in the series truly has been so far (give or take the original Saw), and as fans of the franchise, I don’t feel like we truly expected it either. But at the same time, it’s very hard to not get chills as Jigsaw says “I want to play a game.” The way his voice fills the room, it’s powerful and bone-chilling. I haven’t seen any of the previous films in the theatre, they’ve been watched in the comfort of my own living room, usually really late at night, even though the franchise or this film can really ever be considered as scary films, give or take a jump scare once in a while. The series is more after giving you the pain in your body as you watch someone be sliced open. The twists are moderate in effect because as they seem a bit far-fetched considering there’s so much time to cover. I don’t know where the story would go, or if there needs to continue the story, but I’ll be glad to check it out, but truthfully, I’m okay with this ending, if that’s any consolation.