After seven long years, the legendary killer Jigsaw makes his return in his self-titled film where he takes new victims through his twisted “games.”
The film starts off strong and in somewhat of a medias res; a man is running from the police and he comes to a halt on a rooftop of an old warehouse where he is confronted by the police and is shot. This was the start of Jigsaw’s famous or, rather infamous, games where he puts people in horrible situations and tries to see if they’ll find a way out.
Like with any horror flick, it has the issue of a ridiculous main cast that can’t seem to get anything done the right way. They had multiple opportunities to escape with their lives, and while that isn’t the point of the film, it was rather cringeworthy to see people who clearly know the way out not take the way out.
It’s as though we can never seem to get smart protagonists with movies like these; they always seem to be incapable of taking initiative and making their way through the game relatively unscathed, but they do everything a sensible person would never do. For example, there’s a scene in the film where one of the characters even reveals that she knows the answer to the question yet, instead of doing what was necessary to survive, she hesitates and gets herself killed.
It’s films like these that make horror fans like myself feel like part of the industry is growing stagnant with the same things seemingly happening over and over again. “Dumb protagonist makes stupid choices” seems to be the only type of horror story we get these days and while it’s entertaining, it’s losing its charm. It’s just not as entertaining to see unrealistic choices being made by people who seem to have no common sense every time we get a new horror film.
What may just be the film’s main issue is that it requires no actual thought: you’re just brought along for the ride and it doesn’t really keep you guessing. It’s really easy to follow and the one thing the film had going for it was that the supposed “mystery” of trying to figure out who was committing the murders felt like an unwanted twist on a whodunit story. It’s like the film was saying “Surprise! It was this guy all along”, when in all reality, everyone already knew that.
Overall, the film is definitely entertaining, provided you like gory films and seeing just how many ways people can get messed up by strange contraptions. While the film isn’t really anything new, it is rather easy to get wrapped up in the excitement so to speak. It’s definitely something you watch when you just want to see something mind numbing.