Review: ‘Jigsaw’ cuts back and forth

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 6:10 PM
Review: ‘Jigsaw’ cuts back and forth by Gabriel Hypes

When I was 13, my girlfriend lied to me about how much she loved the “Saw” movies, effectively getting me to like her and continue to like her to this day. So yeah, I’ve got a personal stake in this franchise. And artistically, it’s simple. Put some horrible people in unique, deadly positions with a little bit of gore splashed on top and I’m in. “Jigsaw” does just that.

But let’s start with the bad. First off, the “Saw” franchise has always been on the cheesier side, but “Jigsaw” was just over the top in every way.

To best describe a third of this movie would be comparing it to a television series like “CSI” or “Law and Order: SVU.” The film would constantly cut back and forth from all the fun, torture scenes to a group of uninteresting doctors and detectives talk like they’re some of the smartest people in the world.

The script with these characters just seemed like it was written by a guy who Googled a bunch of medical terms and just threw them in when it seemed like it made sense. I don’t think a doctor has ever said, “We need to do a B-I-U because his T-D-R is in need of L-M-N-O-P!” (This isn’t an actual line from “Jigsaw,” but it’s close enough.)

There were more things I hated with this group of characters, including a part where one scientist said, “The blood under the fingertips belongs to John Kramer,” followed by a long dramatic pause and, “The Jigsaw Killer.” Cue scary music. (This is an actual line in the movie.)

I could go on and on as to why I hated this part of the film, but I think you get the point.

We leave those boring doctor scenes to cut right into five people with buckets on their heads, chained to the opposite wall on a wheel that is pulling them into a set of circle saws. This is where “Jigsaw” thrived.

You follow these five characters, stuck in a farm house, playing a game. The traps they have to face are just great. 

It feels new and fresh for perhaps the first time since maybe “Saw 3.” Every single decision between life and death had me curling up in my seat, but unable to look away. There was never a slow moment when the game was being played.

This wouldn’t be a “Saw” movie without some sort of twist ending that slaps you in the face, making it seem so obvious and has you questioning why you didn’t put it together earlier. “Jigsaw” is no different. There were bits and pieces of the ending that I didn’t like, but overall I was very surprised and happy with how it actually seemed to make sense.

“Jigsaw” didn’t bring a whole lot of new things to the “Saw,” franchise, but it brought a lot of fun to a series that I thought was dead. It seems to be more clever, less gory than most of its counterparts, and I think that’s good thing for the series moving forward. With the Halloween season winding down, send it out with a game of “Jigsaw.”

Gabriel Hypes can be reached at

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