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Review: Lionsgate’s ‘Jigsaw’ is One of the Best ‘Saw’ Sequels in Years

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Jigsaw Billy

This is one of the best Saw sequels in years. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good movie. After the tedious later instalments involving Lieutenant Hoffman it’s great to see Tobin Bell return. The Jigsaw character is what makes the Saw movies interesting. That and the gruesomely inventive traps.

The traps here are more stripped back and less elaborate/cartoonish. This would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that the violence inflicted by these traps doesn’t have the sickening punch we’ve been used to. There isn’t enough emphasis on the pain inflicted and physical damage caused. The special effects are fine and the cast do what they can with the material. The fault seems to lie in the far too quick editing and stylistic choices.

Jigsaw_Still

The camerawork is to a professional standard but the problem is the decision to shoot so much of it in sunlit environments. Gone is the dark, claustrophobic atmosphere that has made this series so sickening. The autopsy scene in Saw 4 made me physically gag. The foreboding score, muted clinical colours and grisly images and sounds made it, in my opinion the most vomit inducing moment in the entire Saw series. Compare that to an autopsy scene in Jigsaw. A coroner in full body protection tries to a examine a recent trap victim. A detective looks on absentmindedly waving a coffee cup over the corpse. It made me laugh out loud.

As we’ve seen in earlier Saw films, (aside from the first two) scenes involving detectives tracking Jigsaw are often boring, overly long and get in the way of the main story. In this film they even cut away in the middle of tense trap sequences so we can see what the detectives are up to. Any sense of nail biting dread is lost.

For those who are already fans of the Saw films this is a must see sequel that might restore any faith lost by it’s weaker predecessors. It delves deeper into Jigsaw’s past and has an adequate whodunit plot. But you’d get must more enjoyment from watching any of the first four Saw movies instead.

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