He is everyone.
Sci-fi horror directors the Spierig brothers (Daybreakers) helm the Saw franchise's eighth installment, which picks up over a decade after the Jigsaw Killer's death.... More
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But how can this be? The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade.Hide
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BY Liam Maguren Flicks Writer
The Saw series is one of the most influential horror properties of the 21st century but, like most horror legacies and garden utensils, got old and rusty. After a seven-year break, this new entry gives the keys to directing brothers Michael and Peter Spierig who were able to put respectable spins on vampire lore (Daybreakers) and the time travel genre (Predestination). Unfortunately, the script pen went to the writers of Piranha 3D.... More
As with most films in the series, the story follows both a group of strangers who wake up in a twisted game of death and the law enforcement trying to rescue them. However, there’s no one you really get to know since they’ve all been given two-word descriptions: dodgy detective, Jigsaw fanatic, annoying asshole, non-white sidekick. It doesn’t help that “players” will often do an incredibly dumb thing / not do the blatantly obvious thing when put in a life-or-death situation, making it difficult to invest in their terror.
So far, so bad, but Jigsaw does amend some elements that stained the franchise. The awful, awful, awful Mark Hoffman character – AKA Jigsaw Jr. – is hardly mentioned to my great delight along with most of the latter sequels. We also get to see Jigsaw’s original philosophy come out a bit more, with notions of “fairness” and “second chances” being reemphasised.
Disappointingly, most of the traps feel more like remixes of the past than anything drastically new. There are contraptions involving needles (re: Saw II), neck chains connected to sharp things (re: Saw V), and even Billy the OG Puppet shows up on his trike. The ones that aren’t homages/rip-offs tend to be laughably ridiculous, as is the *cue Lux Aeterna* big twist ending.
To the conclusion’s credit, it alludes to an intriguingly different direction for any possible future Jigsaw films to take. It’s what this series needs. Hell, it’s what this film needed.Hide
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