Jigsaw (3 stars)

Jigsaw

The Spierig Brothers take the helm of a Saw reboot which should satisfy fans

Back in 2004 James Wan and Leigh Whannell surprised everyone with a brilliant twist in gory horror Saw. Every year after, up until 2010, another instalment of the franchise would appear, with Tobin Bell reprising his role as arch-sadist John Kramer – aka Jigsaw – even after his death from a brain tumour.

Playing with timelines, throwing in plenty of red herrings and the reappearance of minor characters is all part of the absurd fun of this series. Seven years on, the eighth film – directed by the Spierig Brothers (Daybreakers, Predestination) and written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg – exhumes the spirit of Saw with a satisfyingly elaborate riddle to solve.

Opening with a police chase and a perp rambling incoherently about Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and lots of people dying if he doesn't press a remote trigger, the film hits the ground running and doesn't let up until its final convoluted reveal. Soon after, bodies begin appearing in public places around the city, with all the corpses bearing the serial killer's signature. Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, a group with buckets on their heads are being tested and tortured with grisly devices until they confess their worst sins.

Autopsy technicians Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson) and Logan (Matt Passmore) are racing against time with the police to solve the crimes before the sick game is over. As the pair become embroiled in the case, a neat subplot about obsession allows the film to pay tribute to the franchise's gruesome machinations.

Though the traps aren't all that inventively designed this time round, it's mainly business as usual; the pieces of the puzzle cunningly come together via tape recorders, screaming victims and the obligatory closing flashback sequence. Hardcore fans should be delighted even if this reboot won't entice haters of the game.

General release from Thu 26 Oct.

Jigsaw

  • 3 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Michael Spierig/Peter Spierig
  • Cast: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie
  • UK release: 27 October 2017

Bodies start appearing in public places, bearing signature of serial killer Jigsaw, and Detective Halloran (Rennie) tries to figure out what’s going on. The traps aren’t all that inventive this time round but hardcore fans of the Saw franchise should be delighted, even if this reboot won’t tempt the unconvinced.

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