Circular saw would have been a more accurate title.. just saying.
Jigsaw: 7 out of 10: Hey, it is a Saw movie. Questions abound in the eighth film in the series such as is “The Jigsaw Killer”, John Kramer still alive? Is there a copycat killer? What is up with the corrupt detective or the war veteran coroner who looks just like Dexter? Victims and traps abound as there is murdering and revenge afoot.
The Good: There are some very nice traps in this one. The “this shotgun shell is the key to your escape” is probably being one of the best of the series.
The film itself is very well directed with a very good pace. There are plenty of characters (trap fodder) and the movie wastes no time getting to the reason people watch Saw films.
Special effects are also top-notch and though the filmmakers are quoted as saying they wanted to concentrate less on the gore, I would say that gore fans will not walk away disappointed.
The Bad: The first Saw was a masterclass in horror filmmaking. Okay, maybe not a masterclass (Had it just stayed in the room with Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell it would have been a masterclass but a revisit to the film after fifteen years will reveal there is actually a lot of outside plot and Danny Glover of all people.) Here we are seven sequels out and well, some lessons have not exactly been learned.
There is enough plot here for two movies at least. Being the eighth film, there is an unfortunate desire to wrap all the logic into a nice bow, leaving an exposition at the end that would do Hercule Poirot proud. To whom this lengthy explanation of who, what, how, and why is for is a head scratcher, however.
There are also many niggling minor things that add up. How does the killer even know of some of the sins of the victims? You will feel like a Senator at a Supreme Court Justice nomination as revenge is taken upon adults for drunken teenage sins that took place in the eighties and had no witnesses. Did the killer find an old calendar with drunk driving escapade circled?
The Ugly: Hannah Emily Anderson plays the coroner’s assistant Emily with a secret fascination into the Jigsaw killers. She is great; she is wonderful; she is missing from the second half of the movie. I mean, I understand she is a red-headed herring, but seriously; she is the best thing in your movie by far. A better protagonist than that Dexter light Matt Passmore.
In Conclusion: A solid, if over-plotted, horror movie with decent scares, good effects, and some memorable scenes. Worth it for fans of the Saw series, though non-fans will be understandably confused by the various jumps between all the characters.