FILM REVIEW | Jigsaw

If there’s one thing the Saw franchise is known for, it’s gratuitous gore.

The series is built on killing people in the most creative and gross ways possible, with plenty of bloodshed and gloriously mangled bodies.

The series was always fun, as the audience waited to see what new depraved contraption would befall the contestants in mastermind Jigsaw’s game.

It’s sad, then, that the latest addition to the franchise, Jigsaw (the first film to be released more than a year after its predecessor), manages to be the tamest instalment of the lot.

The story picks up 10 years after the death of John Kramer (Jigsaw), where a series of bodies start turning up bearing the hallmarks of his ‘games’ – puzzle pieces carved out of people’s skin, tapes with recorded instructions and significant injury.

This time around we find five characters chained to a wall with Ned Kelly-esque buckets fixed to their heads.

Jigsaw’s voice tells them they must make a blood sacrifice to free themselves as their chains are slowly reeled toward a wall made of spinning saws.

All evidence for the investigators points to Kramer, despite the fact he’s actually been dead for five films, so the cops know they’re looking for someone with significant access to the Jigsaw case files.

Guess who's back: Australian actor Matt Passmore plays a coroner in the latest Saw instalment, Jigsaw. The film is rated MA15+ and in cinemas now.

Guess who's back: Australian actor Matt Passmore plays a coroner in the latest Saw instalment, Jigsaw. The film is rated MA15+ and in cinemas now.

Jigsaw has plenty of homages to the first seven films.

The movie opens with the classic ‘reveal’ music which typically plays at the end of the film – where one character or another will inevitably say “game over” – and one character even has her own museum of Jigsaw artefacts. 

Aside from the more tame nature of of the film – not a single arm ripped out of a socket! – there are other aspects of Jigsaw that set it apart from its predecessors.

Plenty of the action takes place outside, which was very much a rarity in the first seven films. Also, the movie is shot in a much more polished way. Everything is smooth and shiny – quite different from the grime and yellow-tinged shots of the rest of the franchise.

The twist/reveal at the end is pretty neat, but not entirely unexpected.

It also seems just about certain that the producers want to kick off a rebooted series on the back of Jigsaw. Hopefully they’ll kick up the gore factor.