It’s been seven years since the last installment of the SAW franchise, and I’ll be honest…I could have waited a little longer. I gave up on the series sometime around 5 or 6, as they become a sort of re-hash of each other filled with convoluted plot points and things that didn’t make sense. Yes, checking your brain at the door is usually required of these films, but I just couldn’t handle it. However, when Jigsaw came across my desk, I decided to give it a chance.
My son, who has seen none of the series, watched it with me. It should be noted that we watched the original SAW first, to provide him some context, and the striking contrast between the first and (maybe) last film of the franchise is striking. The original is carefully crafted and incredibly well done. It’s a piece of art compared to Jigsaw.
Though aimed toward newcomers to the series, the film falls flat on its face. It opens with police chasing the ghost of John Kramer, the man who was Jigsaw, who has been dead for over a decade. There is a bit of a “is he or isn’t he?” aspect to the film, as they try to play with whether or not Kramer is actually dead.
While some of the fun of these films is to “guess” the ending and figure out the mystery for yourself, this movie attempts to do the same, but falls into the same pitfalls: the ending twist makes no sense in the larger context of things. In fact, that has often been my biggest gripe of the entire series.
That said, the film delivers the core goods: the innovative traps, the ‘game’ of it all, and the extreme mystery and soap opera that have all become staples of the series.
The look of the film is a bit of a change, though, as they opted for brighter colors and a less filtered lens, giving it a bit of a new start. Maybe they hope to jumpstart the franchise yet again? This new look works especially way on the Blu-ray transfer, as the colors pop, the blacks are deep, and there are no noise artifacts present. It’s a great transfer.
Also included on the disc are a few extras: audio commentary with the producers, an incredibly in-depth documentary that offers look at the film (it’s almost as long as the film itself), and a short look at some of the props & traps the film offered up.
Overall, for fans of the series, it’s a must-see, I am sure. While not as deeply tied to the narrative as the other sequels, it’s almost a one off, but one that people will eat up.
The trap has been set when Jigsaw comes to Blu-ray™ and DVD TODAY from Lionsgate.