Jigsaw Movie Review
Written by Lorry Kikta
Released by Lionsgate
Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig
Written by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger
2017, 92 Minutes, Rated R
Released on October 27th, 2017
Matt Passmore as Logan Nelson
Callum Keith Rennie as Detective Halloran
Hannah Emily Anderson as Eleanor Bonneville
Cle Bennett as Detective Keith Hunt
Tobin Bell as John Kramer
So this year on the day after Halloween, I had the opportunity to see Jigsaw that I didn’t take when it was out during its initial release. Despite all the ranting and raving about the Saw franchise being “torture porn”, I enjoyed the first three movies quite a bit. I suppose I should go back and watch the rest of them at some point, but that’s a story for another time.
The caveat to seeing Jigsaw so far after its first theatrical run was that I would have to see the movie in 4DX. I’m going to go ahead and admit to you that I had absolutely no clue what that meant. I knew that this format creates a more realistic “experience”, but honestly I was thinking this would entail some overblown William Castle style gimmicks, while also being in 3D. That assumption was incorrect.
First of all, there is no 3D component to the 4DX experience. At the particular 4DX theater I went to, which was inside of Regal Cinemas Union Square (where I’ve been going for YEARS), this is what 4DX really means: first of all, the seats move. I’m not up on current amusement park rides, but the seats moving aspect was something I remembered from the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios, which I don’t believe exists anymore. Except, what I didn’t remember from that ride, and maybe it’s because I was 8 when I did it, is how nauseous that experience can make a person (or maybe just me).
Additionally, the theater has fans that will emulate wind, and certain smells can be manufactured, which thankfully there were no smells in the Jigsaw viewing experience because I cannot imagine what they would even be, but I really never want to smell blood or dead bodies in reality, so I’m glad that wasn’t a thing. There is also a function on your seat where you can push a button that says “water on” or “water off”. In a regular movie, this might mean that if it’s raining in the movie, you will have some water spray down on you. For Jigsaw this meant that any time someone was killed or injured in a manner that brought forth a lot of blood, you got sprayed in the face.
The 4DX experience of seeing Jigsaw definitely compounds the sense of fear and anxiety that one usually experiences when seeing a horror film. However, in this case, I didn’t enjoy it that much. This may have a lot to do with the fact that I went at 1:00 in the afternoon on a Thursday, so there was literally no one else in the theater. I think that if I went to a 4DX movie again, with another person, to a theater with people in it, I might enjoy it more. The nausea is still a factor I’m not too fond of, though, so I’m not sure if this is entirely my thing. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean it isn’t an interesting technology that some people will love. I could see it being used to great effect with the new entry into the Fast and the Furious franchise or maybe an Avengers movie. I might be willing to give the 4DX experience a go again someday, but not for a while.
As for the film itself, I was curious how they were going to make this work because Jigsaw/John Kramer died a while back in the timeline. I gathered that this film was probably about a Jigsaw copycat. In a way, I was correct. It takes the whole movie to find out who the copycat is and it’s actually a big surprise once you get there.
The premise is that we start out in a room with a bunch of people chained up in a typical Saw scenario. Everyone in the room has done something they’re not proud of and Jigsaw (whoever that may be at this point) pits them against each other and themselves to make it out of there alive. On the case we have a not-so-straight-and-narrow cop, Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie); a coroner whose wife was murdered, Matt Passmore (Logan Nelson); and his Jigsaw-obsessed assistant Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Emily Anderson). They’re racing against the clock to discover who this killer might be, and signs point to the fact that it could be Jigsaw himself, although he’s been long dead at this point.
When we finally find out who the killer is, and in effect, what’s actually happening, it is a bit of a surprise, but only a little bit. It’s hinted that the killer is who they are a couple of times, but of course there’s a good misdirect so you really don’t believe it ‘til you officially find out. All in all, it is a decent entry into the Saw universe. Not my favorite, but not as bad as I secretly expected it to be either.
In closing, the whole experience was not too bad. I definitely recommend the 4DX viewing experience to people who don’t easily get carsick. It’s a fun take on movie-going. As for Jigsaw, rent or buy it if you’re a big Saw fan. Otherwise I’d say to wait for it to come on TV or to eventually hit the streaming services.