The days of horror franchises (regardless if the films are any good or not) are back and the blame/credit should probably go to Saw. In 2004, director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell introduced the world to The Jigsaw Killer and his deadly torture challenges. Six sequels, of varying quality followed, but the release of Saw 3D in 2010 was intended to be the final instalment. However, when Lionsgate received a pitch from Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger they commissioned Jigsaw, with the Spierig Brothers taking the helm.
Before being shot, a criminal activates a triggering device. Five people wake up in a barn with metal nooses around their necks. A recorded message from John Kramer (The Jigsaw Killer – Tobin Bell) explains that they must make a blood sacrifice and confess their sins. As the chains pull them towards buzz-saws, they must work together to escape their capture. Meanwhile, when bodies start appearing, detectives Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Hunt (Clé Bennett) are on the case.
If you’re a fan of the Saw films it’s likely that you’ll also enjoy Jigsaw. However, don’t expect anything new. The Spierig Brothers create a greatest hits medley, recreating several of the different trials from earlier films. Whilst it has the whiff of fan-fiction about it, it’s also perfectly fine (other than being a little confusing at times); no better or worse than any of the sequels, really. If Jigsaw does finally put the franchise to bed, it’s a worthy coda.
Jigsaw is released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Steelbook by Lionsgate UK on 26 February.