Jigsaw  is the most recent installment of the Saw movie franchise. A franchise that was supposed to end with Saw: The Final Chapter ...because the title told us it would be the “final” film. However, it seems that audiences and producers just cannot stay away from the famed John Kramer and the creative traps that first sparked our attention in Saw . The Spierig Brothers (Predestination and Daybreakers) direct this film with a cast of unknowns and a somewhat nostalgic script that places a group of strangers in a trap and a police investigation driven to save these individuals from certain death! Dun-dun-duuuun!
Still Fun: If anything else Jigsaw is a decent time at the movies if you have followed the rest of the films. The audience member that likes this film is the same audience member that went to the theater every year from 2004-2010 to see every installment. That does not mean it is better than most of the previous films. Actually, Jigsaw has the potential to be the worst of the franchise but at most, it is in a murky and interchangeable bottom three. With that said, there is still plenty of blood, guts, gore and twisting plot elements that intrigue a viewer enough to sit through all 90 minutes of the film.Here is where the ending of Jigsaw must be highlighted. Impressive, fun, captivating, well-delivered and anything but expected are ways to describe the last 10 minutes of this film. It was as if James Wan himself came back and crafted the final moments of Jigsaw in order to ensure audiences will come back for the next sequel -- I know I will.
These People Are Dumb: Horror movies have a secret competition to determine if their film has the least intelligent characters. I am convinced that horror film writers go to a convention every year to learn how to craft the dumbest character of all time. Somehow, the writers of Jigsaw manage to give the audience an entire cast of contenders for “Dumbo of the Year”. They enter rooms that obviously should not be disturbed. They attempt to escape at every corner even though they are warned. There is no decent dialogue and whenever there is something crucial to be said it is delivered as if the writers scribbled it on the script on-set. The film is just written poorly and it seems to speed through itself in order to get to that really amazing finale. But the end result is 80 minutes of a nearly unwatchable film.
Missed Opportunities: It would have been a very reasonable thought that after 7 years this franchise would have returned with something to rival most of the previous films. Perhaps 2017 delivered too many good horror films and the expectations for a strong return to the Saw Universe was naive. Jigsaw was shot with different filmmaking equipment, used simple editing, had no mood setting filter and vomited exposition more than any other film in 2017. Jigsaw left behind the elements that could have rejuvenated this franchise.