Jigsaw DVD Reviewed By Joseph Hoshino

The Premise
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for ten years.

The Review
Seven years after the so-called ‘Final Chapter’ of the Saw franchise, I had my fingers crossed that this would be ample time to reshape the series and be shined in a more positive light. Similarly, this has been successful in very recent movies like Blade Runner 2049 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I only wish I could say the same about Jigsaw.

Not that this is the worst ever installment of the franchise, it’s pretty good in some respects, but in a lot of capacities it could be much better. In the overall story are several plot points which I find rather questionable, especially relating to certain backstories of characters which is likely to stir up some criticism. That being said, I found it harder to actually be rooting for anyone in the game and instead found myself closer to an attitude that asked “which lowlife of the lot actually has a fighting chance?”

The death traps to me are nothing very fresh either, not when it compares to the outlandish mechanisms as seen in the original games. So many of these in fact seem mildly similar to others and have really pulled back on a lot of sadistic possibilities. Everybody has different hopes and expectations of horror, so for fans this will either be some sort of comfort or a sheer disappointment. Even so, this still doesn’t bring the rating down to a kid-friendly level which unfortunately is the only thing I can think to say in its defence.   

Speaking from a more technical standpoint, more specifically the set design of things, it looks more than up to scratch but doesn’t feel completely true to what we’ve seen in the past. If you’re familiar with any of the earlier films, you’ll know how the games usually take place in some sort of a decayed, grimy atmosphere that adds to the aggression of players’ torment. This time around, the room designs go against the grain in a more tidy and clean aesthetic. I certainly admire the creative approach taken by walking into unfamiliar territory but if genuineness is something you’re after, you may have to adjust.

If there’s one thing I can say I love about these films are the supreme plot twists revealed in the end, linking back and forth to events of past movies. Even in Saw VII (2010) I felt the upshot was well-deserved and soothed some troubling flaws. So with the latest twist ending of this film, prepare to be both cheated and baffled by in its own fun way.   

Tobin Bell is great as always, carrying the utterly nightmarish ‘Jigsaw’ killer John Kramer throughout the entire series, even as it leans closer to its more stale moments. While the rest of the cast to some extent come from lesser-known film and television backgrounds, they all do an exceptional job at pulling together their best performances for a very so-so script.
The Verdict
A reasonably entertaining gorefest chiefly aimed at the general Saw fanbase or anybody who can have fun with the typical horrors of this day and age. While the creative attempt to softly reboot this franchise is very respectable and competently put together, anymore possible sequels should really step their game up, both literally and figuratively.
The Trailer
The Info
DVD Releases: 21st February 2018
Rating: R18 – Contains Torture & sadistic violence
Duration: 91 minutes
Genre:  Horror
Starring: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
The Extras
Jigsaw (2017) was shot in Toronto (Canada), in 2016. It started filming in September 26, birthday of Gustavo Goulart, who was originally accepted for a leading role in the movie, but was soon replaced because his work visa wouldn't be issued in time. However, Gustavo Goulart has released his audition on YouTube as a Short Movie called Walking After You (2016).
A soft reference to Jigsaw (2017) was shown in the movie Insidious (2010). It was a drawing of the clown puppet on a chalkboard with the number "8" beneath it.
This is the first "Saw" movie to be released more than a year after the previous movie.
Even though Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010) was originally intended to be the final movie of the franchise, in 2012 the studio Lionsgate had expressed interest in continuing the "Saw" movies, even contemplating rebooting the franchise for some time. Then, in 2016, the development for Jigsaw (2017) was officially confirmed.
This is the first Saw movie with two directors.
Previously called "Saw: Legacy," the title changed to Jigsaw (2017), making it the first movie to have Tobin Bell's character's name displayed in the title.
Takes place over 10 years after the events of Saw III (2006), the movie that features the death of Jigsaw.
This is the first movie in the whole franchise to be filmed in anamorphic, especially in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The previous titles, including Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010), were all filmed in spherical/non-anamorphic.
The script was finished in February 2016.
This is the second movie in the horror franchise to be digitally filmed. The first was Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010).
The film was originally classified R18+ by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification, with ratings advice of "high impact horror violence." The distributor, Studio Canal, decided to appeal this rating to the Classification Review Board. On October 20, 2017, the Review Board overturned the R18+ rating and lowered it to MA15+ with advice of "strong themes and strong horror violence." Films classified MA15+ require a person under that age to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. In the Review Board's opinion, the themes and violence in the film overall was only strong in impact, not high, and therefore it did not warrant a more restrictive rating.