New Jigsaw film fails to live up to franchise success

Back in October, Lionsgate released the latest installment in the Saw franchise.  Saw fans were elated for the return of their favorite gory film franchise on the big screen.  It stars relatively unknown actors Matt Passmore and Callum Keith Rennie as the main characters Logan and Detective Halloran.  Tobin Bell also cameos in a few scenes in his iconic roll as John Kramer aka. Jigsaw.

The film starts out in its usually predictable beginning with a bunch of people stuck in traps meant to cause horrible pain and mutilation.  This case being a metal collar attached to a chain leading to a bunch of whirling buzzsaws on a wall.  Next, a taped recording of John Kramer telling them the usual “you must give a sacrifice of blood in order to survive” and proceeds to start the trap.  The prisoners soon realize that they need to cut themselves on the saws in order to prevent their demises.  Most of them succeed in this endeavor, but one person only wakes up moments before he is seemingly decapitated on the saws.

It felt almost mundane and boring, like something that’s already been done in the previous Saw movies.  The next trap is designed to either save or kill one of the group members.  During this time, it’s revealed to the audience that in the past she caused the death of an asthmatic woman when she stole her purse, and now the only way for her to survive is to correctly choose an antidote out of three syringes.  In order to save himself, one of the other group members stab all three into her and causes her face to melt off and kill her.  Yet another predictable move on the franchises part.

Jigsaw then switched to a police detective investigating the incidents and notices that they are eerily similar to the works of John Kramer.  Detective Halloran orders the body of John Kramer be exhumed and examined in which it is revealed that his body isn’t in the coffin, but rather the body of the Detectives partner: Munson.  He instantly becomes suspicious of his colleague, Forensic pathologist Logan.

Back to more reused traps and contraptions.  The remaining group members are trying to figure out how to escape, when one of them decide to promptly run towards the no exit door and is trapped in a bunch of razor sharp wires.  The others decide to leave him there and run into a grain silo.  They soon realize that they will be buried alive unless Ryan, the man trapped in razor wires, pulls a lever that will seemingly release him.  He pulls it and right on cue, his leg is severed instead of released.

It is realized later on that the footage of the traps and of the people are actually not happening currently.  They were actually taped about ten years ago and aren’t actually happening now.  Through more convoluted realizations and betrayals, it is revealed that Logan was indeed responsible for the dead bodies that were showing up around town, as it was his way of punishing Halloran for letting criminals walk free.  He was the man that was seemingly decapitated in the beginning of the movie, but John Kramer felt he didn’t get a chance to work for his freedom since he was unconscious, so he spared him and took him on as an apprentice.

Jigsaw ends in the typical Saw way of forcing Halloran to confess to letting guilty criminals walk free and activating a laser collar around his neck, killing him in the process as the door slams shut.  I’m gonna be honest here this movie wasn’t anything new or beneficial for the Saw franchise.  A lot of the traps seemed familiar, and the plot was too predictable for audience members.  The only real redeeming quality was that Tobin Bell was back in his iconic role, albeit only for a few scenes.  Many of the diehard fans will love it, but Jigsaw failed to live up to the reputation it created all those years ago.

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Mitchell Abraham

Mitch Abraham is a senior finishing his final semester in SCSU's Mass Communications program.  He currently serves as news section editor for the University Chronicle and also enjoys writing short fiction stories in his spare time.  When he's not writing, he likes to fish recreationally and hang out with friends and family.

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