Jigsaw follows two detectives attempting to save victims of a copycat serial killer that appears to be imitating the sadistic genius Jigsaw. While the victims suffer the vicious lessons of the traps set by the killer, the detectives must discover the secrets behind the new killer before it's too late.
I suppose in the grand scheme of the franchise, there isn't much to review here. In almost all ways, it's just a sequel to the Saw franchise and doesn't offer much outside of the other countless sequels to warrant discussion. But, the franchise has a knack for giving the viewers what they want: a plothole-riddled mystery sprinkled with plenty of gore.
This film carries the tradition and little else. For some, it's the intricate traps laced with sadistic absolution for the guilty party's sins. For others, it's trying to solve the mystery before the detectives do. If that's what you're looking for, you'll find plenty of both. But, it doesn't hold up well to some of the others in the franchise.
I think the first three films are great. The first film obviously has the most appeal because of its originality and guts (no pun intended). The second, despite introducing us to the reoccurring plothole of Jigsaw's omnipotent-esque ability to predict his victims' decisions, gave us a more expansive look into the world. The third helped bring together most of the first two films into a decent conclusion, with many of the decisions actually having right or wrong options. But after that, it's a clusterfudge of blood and deus ex machina.
Which brings us to Jigsaw. The traps struggle more than ever with the dumbfounding need for human decision, to the point of human error. It's more evident than ever that Jigsaw has the ability to predict the future with his uncanny power to break down the minds of his victims. And it really takes you out of the movie. None of the traps are particularly exhilarating or creative. It looks like the idea pool is drying up.
The story feels a bit recycled as well, almost like a compiling of previous chapters, hoping that creates a unique experience, and it doesn't. What it comes down to is that this is more of the same. And that's enough for fans of the franchise that enjoy it for what it's worth. Strict horror purists moved on from the franchise long ago. I fall somewhere on the spectrum. I can enjoy them for what they're worth, but I long ago gave up on believing anything great was coming out of the franchise. It's run its course.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 3/10