Cinematic Releases: Missing Pieces: Jigsaw (2017) Reviewed

It's been years since we've heard from the once glorious Saw franchise. Initially part of what some called the "torture porn" craze, the first movie was a guttural piece of exploitation cinema that did something different at the tail end of the slasher craze. 

2004's original feature made horror a household name again and went on to see numerous sequels that went further down the rabbit hole of total suspension of disbelief. As they progressed, fans grew tired of the same old bag of tricks, and the studio finally put it to rest after seven entries. For seven long years, the man known as Jigsaw has been sleeping peacefully in a shallow grave. Now, the ambitions of the killer are back in the worst movie of the entire saga. Hinging on a smart marketing campaign, this will make way more money than it deserves.

What had been touted as a re-imagining of sorts is just another round of creative death devices that mixes in more silly sub-plots about bad cops and goofy musings on the human experience. Like a bad new envisioning, Jigsaw finds a way to mangle what little good was left by turning in a heartless film that plays more like satire than anything original. Following suit are a series of actors that don't know how to act like their life is truly in jeopardy. As a cheaply veiled horror release just days before Halloween, I heard more moans and groans from the audience than I've heard in years. Gone is the original vision by James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Here to stay is another tedious exploration in death and dismemberment that fails to find any concept of story telling. 

Damn. This sucks. Just laying around with
a bucket on my head. Hopefully no serial killers
get us.

Great horror relies on the fear and emotion of its audience. When tension is thrown into the mix, we feel something. By adding good actors with some semblance of how to relate angst in to the movie, people get sucked in and attached. In Jigsaw, all the characters are interchangeable puzzle pieces that never do anything towards making us want to connect to them. Yes, they all have some type of backstory, but their absolute failure to captivate us is the biggest fault of this dire retread. That's without calling into focus the lack of direction here. This is a pure paint by numbers Saw movie that really didn't need to try and be smart or current by calling it Jigsaw. 

Simply put, if you've ever experienced any of these ninety minute excursions into pain, you've already seen this one. There is no imagination behind this movie. There is nothing fresh or intriguing. Other than maybe one or two new machines, this plays out just like the rest. There are police. There are humans screaming for their lives. There are calculated scenes of unadulterated suffering. However, the worst part is knowing that someone gave these guys a budget to do the exact thing they promised us they weren't going to do. 

Jigsaw is dead. Hang it up. The people demand new franchises!