Jigsaw18¦ Blu-ray, DVD
If we’ve learnt anything in life it’s this: you can’t keep a bad horror villain down. The same can be said for bad horror franchises too. Saw thrust itself with a pointy head into audiences for the first time in 2004. Since then it has spawned an entire tool shop’s worth of sequels.
It’s been seven years since the last outing, but the eighth instalment has finally reared its ugly puppet head.
Five people find themselves captive in a barn. They are chained and have buckets on their heads with slits so they can see. It’s probably better that they can't, as what faces them is a wall with spinning blades. A voice speaks to them stating that they must spill blood and confess to something to escape being part of a human blender. As they digest this info, the chains start to tighten, pulling them closer to the deadly wall. The games have begun.
Meanwhile Detectives Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Hunt (Clé Bennett) are trying to work out why Edgar Munsen (Josiah Black), a known criminal, was standing on a building, with a trigger device in his hand, screaming that either he dies or they do. He gets shot before they can get any more out of him, and somewhat inconveniently, ends up in a coma.
Then some bodies turn up, and they have jigsaw shapes cut into their flesh. That’s the MO for the notorious Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), but he’s been dead and buried for years now. Then their attention turns to the forensic pathologists working the case – Logan (Matt Passmore) and Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson) – as both of them seem to be acting suspiciously.
Meanwhile, the games continue for the chained-up five, as they fight for the ultimate prize – to stay alive.
In the past, the makers of this franchise have gotten pretty creative on the torture front. Like their main protagonist, the series has its own MO: a group are held captive, usually in an environ with an industrial vibe, where they have to come clean about their sins, and/or suffer the consequences, usually involving death by DIY.
It’s a tried and tested formula, but this instalment is blunt in every department. From the pitiful acting, to a script that ties itself in knots, and then throws itself into a cage and plunged into shark-infested waters, all because it doesn’t have a clue what else to do.
And yet, despite a complete display of unoriginality across the board, it still managed to gross over $100 million at the box office worldwide. That’s a nice return when you consider it only cost $10 million to make. That’s what you get for hiring cheap labour. But with those numbers, you can expect another slice of this grizzly franchise in the near future.
As far as Jigsaw is concerned however, this is a piece of the overall puzzle you definitely can afford to miss.