Like its moralizing villain, the Found movies promise transcendence through trauma, only to then go back on their phrase and–after never-ending severed limbs, slashed necks, mauled encounters and charred corpses–provide more of the same tedious sermonizing and anguish.
During the period of its first eight installments, Adam Wan and Leigh Whannell’s series proven itself as horror cinema’s most punishing, marrying intricate fatality traps, gnarly gore and insufferable preaching to a serialized narrative whose convolutions bordered on self-parody. Its central bad guy, Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw (aka John Kramer), passed on in 2006’s Observed III, and yet on and on go his “games,” replete with needle-fetish fatalities, absurd twists and changes, and more climactic this-is-the-real-fiend! revelations when compared to a season’s worthy of of Scooby-Doo mysteries. It’s “torture porn” alright, as anyone who’s sat through each excruciating sequel can attest.
By the finish of 2010’s Observed 3D (not, as its subtitle guaranteed, “The Final Chapter”)–in which we found that Cary Elwes’ protagonist from the first Found was, in simple fact, yet another of Jigsaw’s numerous disciples–the complete enterprise had long since began reusing its own gimmicks. It had been a sure sign of creative rigor mortis, and yet here we have been, seven years later, and Jigsaw has arrived to layer more Halloween multiplex displays in perfunctory bloodshed. The best thing you can say about this resurrection is the fact, as aimed by the Spierig Brothers (Predestination, Daybreakers), it’s probably the best-looking Saw film since the original, utilizing its predecessor’s brand rotting-green-and-black color scheme to relatively stylish impact.
Alas, that’s about the only positive element of this ninth show, save for the unintentional chuckles elicited by its derivative makes an attempt to amaze and appall.
Set an unspecified number of years after Observed 3D, Jigsaw starts with detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and his partner detective Hunt (Cl? Bennett) failing to stop a perp from acquiring a device and pulling its result in. That initiates another Jigsaw-ish “game” at a remote barn, where five individuals awaken to find themselves wearing metal buckets on their heads and throat collars attached to chains that are quickly pulling them toward a wall adorned with buzzsaws. Via loudspeaker, a man who sounds exactly like Jigsaw instructs them they have to make a blood sacrifice in order to get started unshackling themselves off their demons. It’s the first of many times the never-seen mastermind behind this nonsense doles out typical Jigsaw orders, which, as before, require his gadget-ensnared prisoners to take action horrible to conserve themselves and atone because of their sins (or, if they fail–or break his rules–to die).
As fans already know, Jigsaw’s game titles are rigged; no matter what the lunatic says, and no matter what plan of action his prisoners take, they always end up in a mangled, bloody heap. In the same way, though he remarks his conduct isn’t “personal,” it’s always ultimately subjected to be very personal, with a lot of his focuses on chosen precisely because they’ve harmed him. That, subsequently, makes Jigsaw not only serial killer-dom’s most irritating holier-than-thou schoolmarm, but an obnoxious hypocrite as well–not to mention, one who magically has unlimited funds to produce and stage these Rube Goldberg-ian exams, an military of assistants to construct his traps, plus more intel-gathering functions than the FBI and CIA put together.
Jigsaw does nothing at all novel with that tried-and-true solution, instead concentrating on another group of captives whose wretchedness–they’re all cretins who’ve dedicated top secret, atrocious offenses worthy of punishment–makes them totally unsympathetic, therefore negating any fear one might feel because of their safety. Everything that Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg’s script brings to the table is a batch of new misdirections about the identity of the culprit behind these copycat Jigsaw killings. It could be Logan (Matt Passmore), the medical examiner who’s still grieving the loss of his better half and dealing with PTSD after having been captured and tortured during his Fallujah head to of military work. Then again, it might be Jacob’s helper Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson), that has a tattoo sleeve and is also a demented Jigsaw fangirl. Suspicions also support about Halloran, considering that he has a long set of professional transgressions, to the idea that detective Hunt is secretly looking into him on behalf of Internal Affairs. Also keep in mind: it could be Jigsaw himself, increased from the deceased!