Jigsaw is a lukewarm addition to the SAW franchise


The trap has been set when JIGSAW comes to Digital HD January 9 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD January 23 from Lionsgate.


Jigsaw, the latest film in the SAW franchise, from director Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers, Undead), brings the infamous Jigsaw Killer back to the focal despite his death 10 years earlier.

The film, which was written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, stars Tobin Bell (Manson Family Vacation, The Firm, The SAW Franchise), Laura Vandervoot (TV’s “Smallville” and “V”), Callum Keith Rennie (TV’s “The Man in the High Castle,” “Californication,” Memento), Brittany Allen (It Stains the Sands Red), Matt Passmore (TV’s “The Glades”), and Hannah Emily Anderson (TV’s  “Lizzy Borden Took an Ax”).


‘Jigsaw’ — Courtesy of Lionsgate

Though Jigsaw (aka John Kramer) has been dead for over a decade, his legacy continues to live on. As police follow a series of murders, fashioned to look strikingly similar to those performed by Jigsaw, law enforcement comes to a crossroad on whether they are chasing a copycat or the ghost of John Kramer.

The truth will set you free — John Kramer

With overwhelming evidence that Kramer is back from the dead, the question remains… has Jigsaw returned in order to remind those who are ungrateful that life is something that should be cherished? Or is there a depraved killer on the loose hell bend on continuing the legacy that John Kramer had instilled?

The SAW franchise has always been a guilty pleasure of mine and even though it had been quite some time since a SAW film was in theaters, I was glad to see that a new one was being added to the franchise. With the exception of the first film, which I think is in a league of it’s own, the rest of the films were a cacophony of over-the-top torture traps and gory deaths.

Going into Jigsaw, I expected no less, but unfortunately, that was not what I got. There are still some seemingly unique devices used to bring forth pain to the ungrateful, and there is still a hell of a lot of bloodshed, but what made the SAW films what they are seems to be lost in this film.

via Lionsgate

The main issue is story and the mystery surrounding John Kramer. I’m not going to give away if he’s alive or not, but what I will say is that the premise didn’t bring anything new to the table. In all actuality, we’ve seen this storyline played out already in one of the SAW films.

Jigsaw had the chance to breathe new life back into the franchise, but instead ends up being a lukewarm addition. Listen, I know we are talking about a “Jigsaw film here, and I’m not asking for Oscar worthy performances or even a tight knit story, but what I did expect was a new story that continued on the legacy of Kramer / Jigsaw. Instead, I felt like the writers took the easy way out by repurposing an already used plot with a few minor changes.

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One of the best parts of a SAW film is seeing the torture devices that have been created. There have been many of these since the origin of SAW (2004) and each year we received a sequel, the traps seemed to become a character within the film due to how outlandish and/or complicated the designs were. I did enjoy some of the new traps that were created for Jigsaw, but overall I felt a bit let down.

We all remember the traps such as the reverse bear trap, or the pit of needles, just to name a few, but in Jigsaw, I felt like these devices were remarkably forgettable. Whereas in the past I felt anxiety when watching the victims desperately try to escape, this time I didn’t feel any sense of urgency. Maybe that’s because I’m jaded, or maybe because the film doesn’t lend itself properly to that.


All in all, Jigsaw could have been a lot worse, but that’s not saying much. The acting wasn’t anything spectacular and the one character I was rooting for didn’t make it very far. The surprise twist and overall story doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and the execution of the traps falls flat. I’m not saying we should necessarily stop making SAW films — they are a lot of fun — I’m just saying maybe we should put a little more effort into making them cohesive and terrifying as opposed to trying to make a quick buck off the franchise.

Jigsaw is now available to own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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Fan of the Saw series? Think Jigsaw should have stayed dead? Let the other trappers know what you think in the comment section below.