As someone that is only beginning to venture into the world of horrors, I am yet to see the previous seven films in the Saw universe. However, with Jigsaw about to come out of my local cinema, I just had to go in and check this movie out. I knew going in that this wouldn’t be the cinematic revolution of the year, but did this hit have enough scares and laughs to make this an entertaining film?
This film takes place ten years after the original series, in which Jigsaw aka John Kramer would kill people using different mechanisms for the wrong things that they did. This series can be seen through a religious point of view, with each character having to confess their sins and pray and beg for forgiveness from a higher authority of their life. Other religious symbolisms are also very clear throughout the movie. This gives a dynamic point in that there isn’t a good or bad side of the characters. Each character that is in this “game” have committed bad crimes, which have resulted in lives being lost. In reality, we shouldn’t be wanting them to survive.
In terms of the characters, they are sort of bland. Very few of them have personalities, and even less had compelling back stories. In fact, out of the five victims of Jigsaw, none of them were worthy of any redemption. As for the police force, very little is seen of them, and what is seen ends up getting confusing. Saying all that though, this makes the characters realistic. The acting in this film is superb. Over-dramatic, yes. But that is what Jigsaw is all about. This also helps by the fact that the cast consisted of unknown actors that helped make the people seem more realistic, in contrast to this crazy story.
In terms of the horror aspects in this film, I loved every moment. There were few jump scares, instead replacing that with subtle hints of terror and a lot of blood and gore. This will not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, this is exactly why I went to see the movie. The blood and gory moments looked real, and when dissecting happened it looked so real. I also liked that there was some ground of scientific explanation to the horror. With the laboratory scenes grounding medical examinations to the processes that Jigsaw uses, as well as an explanation behind the machines Jigsaw uses, this helped create a sense of danger and realism to the horror in the film.
This film is very short, coming in at just over 90 minutes. I feel this is perfect for a movie like this. It did not even suffer from the case of being too cramped or simplistic, as there was enough action in the film to keep the thrill, but with breaks in between by going back and forth between characters and scenes, the horror didn’t seem overpowering. Whilst a little bit more time could have helped developed characters a little more, it may have suffered from dragging on too much and overloading the audience with information.
As this is a spoiler free review, I will not go into details about the ending of the film and how the characters and reveal concludes. But, even after sleeping on it for a night, I am still confused myself on the reveal. It seems like two different timelines and plots being mixed together, and I am not sure as to what is the truth or not behind the character of John Kramer. It also ends so abruptly, that you are left sitting in your seat confused, trying to piece the puzzles together (pun intended).
Don’t go into Jigsaw expecting the next revolution in horror, or the most amazing cinematography to be featured in a film. This isn’t that. Jigsaw is a fun, gory horror flick that will entertain you for 90 minutes. It is a movie I will certainly watch again, to see if I can pick up the extra hints dropped about the ending and see if it pieces together. I will definitely be watching the rest of the series.