Who wants to play a game? Perhaps one where they could sit through an elaborate series of torture scenarios, meant to impart a moral so muddy it may as well be sold as skin-care therapy by Goop? That’s presumably the thinking behind Jigsaw, a movie that looks to be more of a continuation than a reboot of the popular 2000s horror franchise Saw. Unlike those darn reboots, which start everything again from scratch with a fresh retelling, here you can experience the joy of having to know what happened in every iteration of that series of movies you stopped watching around the third or fourth one!
For those who don’t recall, the Saw movies featured a killer named Jigsaw (a.k.a. John Kramer), a man who decided to punish those he felt had disrespected the gift of living in some way by forcing them to make do-or-die decisions that involved something deeply unpleasant. At least, that’s how it started with the pretty entertaining first movie (directed by now-Hollywood blockbuster helmer James Wan), only to slowly spiral down into a hilariously overwrought and complicated series of films that remained doggedly tied to the (deeply confused and hypocritical) thread of the original purpose. They were often set to a yo-metal soundtrack, imagery that could best be described as sub-Rob Zombie, and editing that would make Michael Bay think, “Wait, I’m not sure what’s going on here.”
The new one appears to create a new cast of characters to deal with the continuing machinations of Jigsaw, as some medical professionals discover a microcassette recorder and the words “Play me.” Soon, Jigsaw is making enigmatic comments, people are chained to a wall that is slowly pulling them toward spinning blades, and everyone is screaming. So, it’s a Saw movie, in other words. Bringing in fresh talent behind the camera, the one bright spot is directors The Spierig brothers, responsible for more-entertaining-than-it-should-be genre fare like Undead and Daybreakers. If it doesn’t require us to sit through those final earlier films (especially Saw V and 3D, both reportedly hot wet garbage) and breathes some life back into the series, we might be talked into checking it out. We’ll know for certain when it comes out October 27.