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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 4, 2017

Jigsaw Movie Review: Uses The Same Old Tricky Formula Used Before In The Past Seven "Saw" Movies

THE ‘SAW’ film franchise was started by Director James Wan (who also created “The Conjuring” and “Insidious” franchises) in Halloween of 2004 and for the next six years, there was a new “Saw” flick every October. It stopped in 2010 with “Saw VII” when the stories became so ridiculously convoluted and contrived that box office returns have diminished.

But now, after hibernating for seven years, they've revived it with “Jigsaw” and, whaddaya know, it’s currently the number one Halloween offering in the U.S. It’s not surprising since the horror genre is now more saturated with ghost stories that have ceased to be scary. Now directed by the Spierig Brothers from Australia, Michael and Peter (of “Predestination” and “Daybreakers”), the series is not really reinvented but is the same old thing, also banking on the same tricks used by its predecessors. There’s really not much surprise as it also makes the viewer guess where the deceitful script that twists one’s expectations is going.

But if you’re a fan of the Saw franchise who’s been missing it a lot and doesn’t mind being treated to more of the same formula, then you won’t complain at all as your wish will be granted. The premise is the same. Five people are captured and four of them wake up inside a meticulously designed and constructed torture chamber.

The last victim doesn’t wake up at all until he’s just about to get sliced and killed by an electric saw. The four who remain are Anna (Laura Vandervoort), Ryan (Paul Braunstein), Mitch (Mandela Van Peebles) and Carly (Brittany Allen.)

Just like the other victims before, they regain consciousness without any knowledge of who captured them, where they are imprisoned and why they are being punished. Eventually, of course, it will be revealed that they are all sinners who all have their own deep dark secrets. Meantime, a police investigation is being conducted while the killer has the time to do all the torturing and still get to surreptitiously surrender the bodies of those who died in captivity to the cops.

It appears that the killer is once again John Kramer (Tobin Bell), the original murderer who was shown dying in “Saw III” when his head was blown off. But now, he seems to have now risen from the grave to sow mayhem once again. Or is it just a copycat killer who’s doing all the grisly murders this time?

It’s up to forensic medical examiners Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) and Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Anderson) to discover who the killer is, based on the mutilated corpses that the seemingly long dead Jigsaw killer is sending to them. But Detective Halloran (Callum Rennie), who’s in charge of the case, starts suspecting that the medical examiners themselves must somehow have a connection with the new killer.

Of course, the lengthy explanations will come fast and furious towards the end and it’s all up to you if you’d care to buy the ridiculousness of it all. Honestly, for us, there are so many loopholes and questions that remain unanswered. For instance, who are throwing all those sharp objects on two of the captives who get trapped in a silo when the killer is later revealed to be somewhere else while this is happening. And how did he get to construct his elaborate death chambers when he doesn’t even have any assistant to help him at all in carrying out his gory, grisly deeds?

Honestly, we don’t see “Jigsaw” reinvigorating the “Saw” franchise. We didn’t care for any of the victims. They all got involved in some crime where innocent people get killed and all their fighting and screaming also get on our nerves. Actually, they all just got the comeuppance that they deserve. And we don’t also sympathize with the killer who is so self righteous in teaching valuable moral lessons to his victims.

Even the lead detective on the case turns out to be a corrupt cop who has broken the law several times. So, they can all die or kill each other, for all we care, and maybe they should include the makers of this movie among their victims to make sure no other sequel will be made, which is, sadly, a certainty, especially now that it’s making a killing at the U.S. box office.