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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3318)

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Jigsaw (2017) 
Let the Games Begin... and Begin Again
2.5/4 stars

Back in 2004 a director by the name of James Wan presented an interesting new horror film called Saw. A film that essentially took place in a single room, between two men, who found themselves at the mercy of a man doling out his own twisted form of justice. Wan, of course, has gone on to become a true horror auteur, along with making his mark on the Fast and Furious franchise. Saw, of course, went on to become a horror Juggernaut - ramping up the twisted deaths and expanding on the cast, but, like all good things, the series started to sputter and, much like Paranormal Activity, squandered its potential away.

But Saw isn't dead yet. Jigsaw revives the madness after a seven year hiatus. While Jigsaw doesn't necessarily fix all the mistakes, it's at least a set above many of the later Saw films and it could spawn something more interesting down the line. While the big twist isn't all that hard to figure out, it's at least an interesting revelation. For those who like Saw for the gore (and, let's face it - who doesn't?), the film also doles out plenty of death scenes.

Jigsaw has some decent characters, from the grizzled cop (Callum Keith Rennie) to the strange girl with an obsession over Jigsaw (Hannah Emily Anderson) to the military vet with his own secrets (Matt Passmore). Even the victims are given at least a little background, with the comic relief, who also happens to be a truly terrible man (Paul Braunstein) to the kid who sold a man a faulty motorcycle (Mandela Van Peebles) to a housewife harboring her own demons (Laura Vandervoort). And, don't worry faithful fans, Tobin Bell is still on hand as well. Jigsaw, of course, still has his reasons for doling out his own brand of justice.

Like the previous films, there is a twist. I think most people will figure it out, but it's a nifty way to tie together the past and present. That being said, the film doesn't offer too much more than what I've come to expect out of the Saw films. It's pretty standard as to what to expect, and after seven years, not much has changed. If you were a fan of the series, it's a nice trip and for a horror film in general, it gets the job done.

Jigsaw manages to revive a series that had grown stale. While it didn't fix all the problems, at least it shook off the rust and got things going. I'm interested to see if this is enough to kick-start this franchise.


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