Release Date: October 27, 2017
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writer: Peter Spierig, Josh Stolberg
Cast: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Cle Bennett, Laura Vandervoort, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black, Edward Ruttle, Michael Boisvert, Sam Koules, Troy Feldman, Shaquan Lewis, Shaquan Lewis, Esther Thibault, Lauren Beatty, Nadine Roden, Adam Waxman, Arabella Oz, Misha Rasaiah, Christine Simpson, Billy Parrott, Sonia Dhillon Tully, Keeya King, Ryan Manning, Tina Jung, Brandon James Sim, Darren Joesphs
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 91 minutes
Production Company: Serendipity Productions, Twisted Pictures, A Bigger Boat, Lionsgate
Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Budget: $10,000,000 (estimated)
When the first SAW film was released in 2004, it changed the game for horror films all around. In the film community, the ending left audience members were shocked beyond belief that the antagonist actually came out on top, winning the psychotic game they put together. Another element that raised the bar to new levels was the simplistic nature of the film. It had a low budget, a small cast, and a script that was as strong as steel. It gave a new meaning to the phrase “less is more.” Out of the six sequels that followed, a couple of those were great; measuring up to the same caliber as the first, while the others definitions were ridiculous. Even though you suspended your disbelief, they still came across as horrific films that should be swept under the rug or even thrown into the pits of hell. By no surprise, that’s exactly how this eighth film in the franchise has come across. Simply put, it’s not good at all, ranging from the characters, plot, story, and overall production. It’s a lazy attempt that didn’t think anything through and the writers should be ashamed. There’s a level of mystery that still keeps you engaged in the end, but when the so called secret is revealed, you’ll just roll your eyes, and run to your car to get as far away from this mess as physically possible.
10 years has past in the cinematic world since Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) ran amuck in the society. Characters that were in the last films are nowhere to be found, but I guess the director just decided “who cares.” The budget and production were already small from the last few films, and from the first few frames, it’s blatantly obvious that the quality has stepped down. The acting across the board just isn’t good. It’s not up to par, and it feels this should be a straight to home video release, or a film that should be on the SyFy channel. Some of the actors tried to come across as believable, but the harder they tried, the harder I cringed. One actor in particular was laughably bad, giving all he could, yet still failing miserably. Some did better than others, but in the end, a harder search for better talent would’ve gone a long way, and would be appreciated by movie fans all around. The writers could’ve also given movie goers characters that are likeable. When death is moments away, a few could’ve easily survived, but they had too much pride to confess supposed past sins. It was ridiculous. Just confess! Who cares, if you confess in front of strangers you’ll never see again. Again, this film gives new meaning to words, and this time, it’s, “too much pride can kill a man.” I wanted the film to give me at least one character I could root for, but unfortunately, the film didn’t contain any.
Something else that made the earlier films so loved is that they actually dealt in the realm of realism. The horrific torture the victims went through could actually happen in the real world. In this latest film, Jigsaw, it is all over the place soaked in stupidity. I don’t know where the financing came from, but whoever was pulling all the strings behind the scene (I don’t want to spoil it), but they must have hit the mega lottery, and had a PhD in engineering. The traps used in the movie were over complicated, and frankly childish. What was supposed to be creative came across as an immature dream that served no real purpose. I would’ve rather the killer just kidnap their victims, and beat them with a hammer, but I guess the directing and writing team were trying to go for something that in short didn’t work. As I was watching, I couldn’t help but ask, who has the time, but at this point I started to care less and less and just wanted to leave.
Another failing aspect of the film was the dependence of the characters involved doing exactly what the baddie wanted. There were too many options for the victims to get out alive, which destroys the plot, leaving plot holes around bigger than a black hole. Trap after trap, it’s clear that this entire script depended on random coincidences that had to occur just right, and if not, the entire move would’ve fallen apart. At these revelations, all you could do is deep sigh, and lose energy from the frustration on screen. No effort was put into this film, and if you see it yourself, I’m confident you’ll feel the same.
I could continue to go on, but there’s honestly no point. I don’t recommend this film because it treats its audience like they’re stupid. This production is a clear money grab during the Halloween holiday season which you shouldn’t be a part of. Give a worthy movie, and then, we’ll shell over the money, but with crap like this, it come off as disrespectful. One character that CLEARLY died in a past film pops up out of nowhere in the end with no explanation, and at this point, you’ll want to grab anything in sight, and just launch it at the scream due to anger.