Tag Archives: Jigsaw

Or Did the Case Solve Us?


by Hope Madden

It’s been five years since we’ve had a new episode in the Saw series.

I know! You thought it was longer, right? That’s because the last iteration, 2017’s Jigsaw, was so lackluster and forgettable that you forgot it.

Well, what if they go in a new direction? (Not really, but at least there are name actors.)

What if they bring in filmmakers from the series heyday? Not James Wan and Leigh Whannell. I mean, they have bigger fish to fry. But Darren Lynn Bousman, the guy who directed Saws 2, 3 & 4, is on board. Along with the scribes who penned Jigsaw, Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger.

To summarize, the guys who wrote the worst episode in the Saw franchise have returned with a middling director to take a borderline novel direction for the 9th chapter.

But Chris Rock!

He’s not enough. Neither is Samuel L. Jackson.

We open, as we must, on the first victim. We wander with him into what he doesn’t realize—although we surely do, unless you are very new to this franchise—is a trap, and one that will not end well.

So far so good, to be honest. If this is the kind of horror you enjoy and you aren’t sick beyond words of it just yet, the opening gag is serviceable.

Then we cut to Det. Zeke Banks (Rock), undercover and getting off a couple funny lines concerning the Forrest Gump universe. Nice. But don’t get comfortable because within minutes we’re dropped into Zeke’s precinct, where the coppiest of all the cops vie for most obviously borrowed cop cliché.

Undercover without backup?! You’re off the rails!

Do not team me with a rookie. You know I work alone!

You’re too close!

And so many more sentences articulated with need of an exclamation point. Zeke is, indeed, teamed with a rookie (Max Minghella), the only cop in the precinct who doesn’t hate him for what he did years ago…

Sam Jackson’s kind of fun, though. And it’s hard not to hope that the excruciating opening act exposition and cop grandstanding is all a way to quickly build the world in which these cleverly planned, torturous games are played.

It is not. It is the whole movie. And it isn’t clever, it isn’t fun, it isn’t gory, it isn’t scary.

It isn’t necessary.

I Don’t Want to Go Out – Week of January 22

There are so many movies being made available for our pajama-wearing asses this week, it’s as if the fates are begging us to be lazy. So let’s do it! We’ll help you decide what to view.

Click the title below for the full review.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (DVD)

The Final Year

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

Thank You For Your Service

Goodbye Christopher Robin


Win or Die Tryin’


by George Wolf

It’s Halloween, and after a seven year absence, Jigsaw is back with more evil tricks in store for some unrepentant sinners.

But is it the real Jigsaw, back from the dead? Or maybe just a fanatical copycat?

And can you, after 15-20 minutes of the movie Jigsaw, keep your mind from wandering away to that viral video of the guy trying to live with tiny Jigsaw for a roommate?

Come on, that video’s pretty funny.

After six sequels to the over-achieving original, the Spierig Brothers (Daybreakers, Predestination) attempt to revive the franchise with a suspense-free mystery of ridiculousness that confuses close ups of mutilated body parts with actual scares.

Those dead bodies are turning up with Jigsaw calling cards carved in conspicuous places, and the local detective (Callum Keith Rennie) naturally assumes it’s a copycat, as the infamous killer has been dead for ten years. The cop’s suspicions soon fall on a medical examiner (Hannah Emily Anderson), despite the objections of her supervisor (Matt Passmore), while somewhere on a remote farm more sinners are begging for release from deadly puzzle games.

And somewhere in a darkened theater, you watch what passes for dramatic tension between Anderson and Passmore and wonder why they didn’t just do a porn version called Bonesaw and be done with it?

Writers Josh Stolberg and (let’s just call him Dr.) Pete Goldfinger know you’d like a twist ending so give them credit, they come up with a pretty decent one. But ultimately, that just calls attention to the faint glimmer of hope this project had before it wilted under warmed-over ideas well past their prime.