The Saw horror series, long thought to be dead, has made a shocking return from the grave onto the big screen. While many slasher fans groaned at the thought of another terrible sequel, the die-hard fans of the Jigsaw killer’s games were ecstatic—regardless of the movie’s quality. Even more exciting was the return of Tobin Bell in his role as John Kramer, the infamous inventor of the twisted torture devices.
Like many, I went into the theater with low expectations. As a horror junkie myself, I knew from experience that the plot probably would not be receiving a standing ovation, but I looked forward to seeing what sort of new, bloody demises directors Michael and Peter Spierig could imagine. Suffice to say, I was disappointed.
A major characteristic of Saw is showing every grisly detail in a person’s death; anyone who has seen the previous films is aware of this theme. Censoring the blood and guts with clever camera angles or convenient transitions is a gimmick that the series has never utilized.
I usually find myself cringing at the gory imagery at least once per film, but the only time my heart was really racing with Jigsaw was when I was angry about how stupid the characters were acting. The gore was disappointingly tame for a Saw film, and not once in my many years of being a fan have I appreciated the plot more than the grisly torture in each movie.
Another problem with the movie, which this has been a recurring problem with the Saw sequels, is that the plot would make absolutely no sense to someone who has not seen the other films.
One could still follow along with the plot, but would not understand the references to the previous films or the very obvious easter eggs present. This movie would only be enjoyable to an avid Saw fan, if they are able to look past the rushed deaths and light gore.
Despite the disappointing gore level, the plot twist was fantastic, and, for the most part, fell into the events of the movie perfectly. Yet, sitting through over an hour of the same old stuff did not make the wonderful twist worth it.
Jigsaw was simply another rinse and repeat sequel to a series that should have stayed dead. Like many other horror franchises, it has fallen victim to being milked for sequel after sequel, and horror fanatics like myself continue to feed the beast with more and more money. On the bright side, at least it did not end up like Jeepers Creepers 3.
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