Grisly Jig­saw is solid se­quel

Ayrshire Post - - AYRSHIRE LIFE -

Seven years on from his ‘ fi­nal’ chap­ter, se­rial killer- with- ad­if­fer­ence Jig­saw makes a not- so­sur­pris­ing come­back – or does he?

Part of the in­trigue be­hind the eighth Saw movie is whether Tobin Bell’s moral mad­man is truly back from the dead, or if we are now deal­ing with a copy­cat.

Need­less to say, you will not find the an­swer to that ques­tion here; all I will re­veal is that we are once again pre­sented with an­other group of ques­tion­able char­ac­ters be­ing put through a se­ries of deadly games while a po­lice and foren­sic team in­ves­ti­gate a grisly body count.

Writ­ing duo Pete Goldfin­ger and Josh Stol­berg ( Pi­ranha 3D, Soror­ity Row) are clearly fans of the Saw fran­chise as they know ex­actly what their au­di­ence wants, but fail to add much in the way of fresh­ness or orig­i­nal­ity to the fran­chise.

The Spierig Broth­ers – who pre­vi­ously helmed cre­ative sci- fi Pre­des­ti­na­tion and dis­ap­point­ing vam­pire ac­tioner Day­break­ers – also shoot in a per­func­tory style lack­ing in the se­ries’ trade­mark rock video- like aesthetics and edit­ing.

Be­yond Jig­saw’s mi­nor one- scene up­grade from cas­sette tapes to a USB and an ill- ad­vised late use of CGI blood and gore, there’s not much to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween this and the first Saw film back in 2004.

But, as a fan of much of the fran­chise, it was nice to see it res­ur­rected in a watch­able, in­ter­est­ing fash­ion that helps get rid of the hor­ri­ble taste left be­hind by pre­vi­ous en­try Saw 3D.

The main group of five vic­tims do lit­tle more than scream a lot and stum­ble from one lifethreat­en­ing sce­nario to the next, but Laura Van­der­voort’s Anna is given a har­row­ing back story and Paul Braun­stein ( Ryan) rev­els in self­ish be­hav­iour and spurt­ing the odd know­ing joke.

Cal­lum Keith Ren­nie’s De­tec­tive Hal­lo­ran is a wor­thy ad­di­tion to the se­ries’ best cops and even just hear­ing Bell’s husky tones sends shiv­ers down spines.

Speak­ing of spines, bodies are pulled, twisted and wrenched in all sorts of di­rec­tions and grue­some in­juries will leave some cov­er­ing their eyes.

There is no es­cap­ing the fact, though, that as nasty as some of the traps are, there is noth­ing that can hold a bear trap or sy­ringe pit to the se­ries’ sick­en­ing best.

The same can be said for the movie’s fi­nal twist – a sta­ple of any Saw flick. One or two smaller el­e­ments of the story sur­prise, but the cli­mac­tic dis­clo­sure is much eas­ier to see com­ing than, say, the first two films’ big re­veals.

How­ever, it does leave the fran­chise in a bet­ter place than Saw 3D and there is scope for fur­ther se­quels to come.

Jig­saw will not con­vert many who have pre­vi­ously avoided the Saw movies like the plague, but there’s enough to stir fans’ nostalgia and whet their ap­petites for more grisly game- play­ing.

Caught in a trap Van­der­voort gets pushed to the limit Cin­ema with Ian Bunt­ing

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