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JIGSAW
4K Ultra HD Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Cle Bennett, Hannah Emily Anderson
Directors: The Spierig Brothers
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Studio: Lionsgate
Features: See Review
Length: 91 Minutes
Release Date: January 23, 2018

I speak for the dead.”

Film **1/2

When Saw first surfaced in 2004, it was indeed a new breed of horror. It borrowed elements from the likes of Se7en to create a type of psychological horror thriller that had yet to be displayed in the genre. And with it’s low budget and huge box office success came a slew of sequels, which were released every subsequent Halloween.

Seven years have passed since the seventh installment, Saw 3D, which wrapped the continuous storyline up in a bow. But do horror movie franchises ever really die? The birth of a new installment in the form of Jigsaw pretty much answers that question.

The movie picks up ten years after the death of John Kramer, aka “Jigsaw”, the man behind all the traps and killings in the earlier movies, with a little help from a few assailants. Though his legacy of teaching his victims valuable life lessons through his elaborate death traps was supposedly put to an end, more bodies have begun to pop up all over the city. And even crazier than that is the mere fact that all the evidence points to the dead man himself.

I still regard the first Saw as a legitimately effective horror movie, with a genius premise behind it. As for the sequels that followed, although there were a few that were decent (most notably Saw VI), most of them were unnecessary since a good chunk of them were revealed to be taking place at the time of another storyline in a previous installment. And at their best, they were purely nothing more than guilty pleasures.

So how does this new one fare? It does benefit from coming out seven years after the previous installment which capped off a repetitive six year cycle. The mystery surrounding the story is a bit intriguing at times, but for the most part this is nothing more than your typical Saw movie.

If you are a sucker for all the kills and gore this series has delighted in, you certainly won’t walk away disappointed. And I’d be lying a bit if I said the final kill in the movie wasn’t worth the price of admission alone. I have never seen a body demised quite like this, and it’s a moment that deserves it’s place in the slasher killer hall of fame...it’s that bloody amazing!

It’s hard to tell if the Saw franchise will see a jump start off of Jigsaw. It made a profit at the box office, but was still a low gross compared to past installments. Do I care to see future movies? Well, I may keep telling myself no...but then I think of that final kill and I say YES, further confirming that I’m quite a sick puppy.

Video ****

This 4K release from Lionsgate provides what is hands down the single best presentation of any movie in this series to date! The Saw movies are known for their dark dungeon-esque settings, and in 4K those qualities shine better than you might expect as far as depth and detail are concerned. This one also includes a good number of outdoor sequences, which are displayed just as excellent.

Audio ****

Likewise, the Dolby Atmos mix provides the best piece of audio ever supplied for a Saw movie. There’s plenty of action that’s captured exceedingly well here, especially the sequences involving the death traps, which are surefire showstoppers. Music playback and dialogue delivery also get high marks here!

Features ***

Lionsgate deserves credit for going the extra mile by including extras on both the 4K disc as well as the standard Blu-ray disc. Here, we get a commentary with producers Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Peter Block, as well as an intriguing seven part documentary titled “I Speak For the Dead: The Legacy of Jigsaw” and an additional featurette titled “The Choice is Yours: Exploring the Props”.

Summary:

Jigsaw doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel within the Saw franchise, but it’s far from boring and might be one of the better sequels in the series to date. If you love the kills, then you are definitely in for a treat!

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