Rated R for Saw related violence. You should know the reputation that these movies have. They are often brutality for brutality's sake. It's more of a commentary on me that I'm watching these movies and writing about them. But these movies pride themselves in as much intense gore as they can offer. Some people like this kind of stuff, but it is the content that make a movie R. I guess there's language as well.
DIRECTORS: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
This movie is going to get such a boost because it was following Saw: The Final Chapter. I can't even imagine how to wirte about this movie objectively. Saw: The Final Chapter is such a low-point in cinema. It is the inevitable result of a studio throwing less and less money into a franchise and expecting returns. I mean, there's almost a certain amount of sympathy to the franchise up to that point. One of the key things driving the franchise was that it was a guaranteed horror movie every year for seven years. There had to be a point of diminishing returns when you make a movie yearly. (Okay, Woody Allen did it for the portion of his life when he wasn't appropriately cancelled. But there are a lot of Woody Allen stinkers in there too.) But Jigsaw almost just gets points for treating a Saw movie like a movie. If I had seen this movie without having just seen Saw 3D, I would have railed that this might be a soulless horror movie that didn't make a lot of sense. But that's not how things played out.
I mean, I'm trying to step out and say that it is pretty soulless and it made almost no sense in terms of logic. But I'll tell you this: it might be the second best Saw movie up to this point. That doesn't make it a good movie. It just means that the Saw franchise is always just asking a bit too much from its audience. I must also confess that this movie was kind of spoiled for me accidentally. I already knew that this movie was in flashback. Actually, when I was watching it, I was surprised that they claimed that John Kramer was dead because only half the movie is in flashback. (My brain quickly started piecing together the twist of only half the movie is in flashback, which only kind of makes sense.) But it seems like the Spierig Brothers genuniely cared about making a good Saw movie. Sure, a lot of it is the money. But there's a certain degree of crafting. I'm sure that there was a reputation to overcome and the Spierig did everything that they could to move past the reputation that the previous films did. I mean, Saw 3D was the low point in the franchise and that had two kinda / sorta big celebrities in it. This one has no celebrities and feels so much more polished than the previous movies.
But the movie is kind of dumb, right? Like, when this movie is actually going and you can move past the fact that it looks a lot prettier than the other movies, it is kind of dumb, right? I know that the reviews and the metacritic score are higher. But they're still pretty low. I mean, one of the plans wouldn't have worked, but I'm still going to point out from a the "try" perspective. The movie takes place mostly in a barn. There are five people who are captured in that room and they have to escape a creepy barn that is trying to kill them. Initially, they're all chained to walls and are being brought closer and closer to death until the chain releases them. Now, from a directing perspective, I get it. (Maybe cinematography is the term I should be using.) The Spierigs decide to use the barn locale to have a fake magic hour the entire movie. Sunlight bursts in through the slats of the barn the entire movie. Okay. That works. It looks relay cool. But the victims are trying to escape this place, right? Why are they taking crowbars to big metal doors? Why wouldn't you just put your weight against one of these gapped boards and escape that way.
Now, at one point, Eleanor (?) takes a crowbar to the No Exit door and is captured by Pigman. Okay, that scans. It means that they shoudn't be able to escape regardless because the killer is watching the entire time. But there are three of them in this room at one point. If they all take a different plank, wouldn't they just be able to escape? It just seems like these characters make the dumbest choices to make the story proceed forward. I also have that same complaint that I had with the previous movies. Why are people so eager to play the tapes that Jigsaw leaves for them. That's when the trials start. Every time. Every time they hit a button, a trial starts. There's one puzzle in here that starts with them already being pulled and it ends with the tape being played. (Note: what if Mitch never hit the tape? All of that planning would have gone to pot?) Stop going out of your way to do these things. Also, Jigsaw is getting borderline psychic. Logan goes after the "No Exit" door. The other two scream, "It's a trap". He ignores them, gets caught in the trap. But there's a good scenario where Logan listens to them and doesn't fall into the trap. The entire puzzle is based on someone falling into the trap when, realistically, no one would fall for that.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.