The game returns for its eighth instalment seven years after its last chapter. A contemporary imitation of eighties horror franchises such as the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street films, the Saw series has continued to churn out sequels, prequels and content fourteen years after its short film debut.
With 2017 being a year of horror reinvention in the shape of successes such as IT, Split and Get Out, the rebooted blood lust of John Kramer falls disappointingly into the category of uninspired horror franchise fodder somewhere between the equally forgettable Rings and Jeepers Creepers 3.
Whilst Jigsaw is sure to scratch the itch of die hard horror fans, it feels once more that lazy writing and cheap thrills serve only to undermine a franchise that has so much to offer.
Lest we forget the Saw films that have some of the best marketing in horror history and have helped establish the torture gore sub-genre, as well as created icons in Billy the Puppet and The Jigsaw Killer as well as the brilliant ‘Hello Zepp’ theme, the film presented is far less than the sum of its parts.
Without spoilers; ten years after his death Jigsaw-esque traps and villains appear and brutality ensues. Gruesome autopsies, and a cat and mouse ‘whodunnit’ amongst the protagonists unfold, as ‘victims’ try to escape elaborate traps and dark pasts.
Unlike previous sequels there’s an attempt to inject comic relief into this incarnation, but weak dialogue and a green cast struggle to engage. The gore is no longer shocking and the twists are predictable. One for the purists - John Kramer deserves a lot better.