Wow. Just wow. Let me start out by saying I am a huge fan of the “Saw” franchise. Even when the series was at its worst, I always found a way to get to the theater and watch these movies around Halloween. When I heard that they were rebooting the series and making another installment I was worried. It sounded like a complete cash grab and a way to make money of a successful franchise. After watching the final product I can safely say this is the best Saw since the original and even better in someways.
Jigsaw takes place 10 years after the last movie. It assumes that the audience knows very little about the previous movies which works to it’s advantage. Any references are essentially Easter eggs for devoted fans like myself but the movie doesn’t rely on your nostalgia to be a good movie. Instead the Spierig Brothers craft a love letter to the franchise that will help bring it to the next generation.
I want to first start by saying that this movie is shot beautifully. I had two options for my viewing experience tonight IMAX or standard. Based on my previous experiences with the Saw movies I didn’t see the need to go see this movie in IMAX now I would love to go rewatch it in that format. The director and cinematographer went all out for the look of this movie, it is clean precise and the editing makes sense which something that the saw franchise has struggled with since the very beginning. This movie is able to display the traps beautifully. All the scenes are well lit, well shot and edited in such a way that you never get lost or disoriented.
The story is also expertly paced, it brings saw to the next generation, and it tugs at the root of the series by creating a new antagonist to keep the franchise a float for a couple more movies. I hope the movie does well in the box office because after this first outing I am very excited about the idea of Jigsaw sequels coming back and Saw taking over Halloween again.
Another struggle of the saw franchise has always been the actors, the cast in this movie is a lot smaller than previous saw entries and the characters are all pretty bland and generic. Yet the actors give each of them personality. You like the ones you’re supposed to and hate the ones you’re supposed to hate.
There also aren’t as many traps or gore as in the previous movies, the result is tension filled moments that help remind you that you are watching a horror movie. This movie is not meant for just gore nuts, in fact in many moments throughout the movie it could’ve gone for more gore and shown you all the gruesome details of an event yet it completely skipped over them and avoids showing you those gruesome details. At least more so than the past 4 Saw movies.
The movie has an unrelenting pace from beginning to end, you are fascinated by what’s going on on-screen or deliberately confused when the movie wants you to feel confused and you never know who the antagonist is until the very end in a very great twist that ties back to the original films. This movie was clearly the work of passionate fans for the original project that understood that Saw is at its core a psychological thriller and it’s the mystery aspects that keep the viewers engaged.
Of course I have to mention Charlie Clowser who returns to make another fantastic score and even revamps the original theme song into a fully orchestrated piece. As the opening for the movie played I was smiling from ear to ear.
This is the movie that Saw fans have been waiting for. It breathes new life into the franchise and provides a fun gruesome experience just in time for Halloween. I can’t recommend this movie enough, if you’re interested in horror movies or a fan of the Saw films you should definitely check it out
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