Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Cast: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Cle Bennet, Laura Vandervoort, Paul Braunstein, Mandela Van Peebles, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black, Edward Ruttle, Michael Boisvert, Sam Koules, Troy Feldman.
Back on track, refreshed and full of deserved karma retribution; for where the Saw franchise arguably lost its way after the first two incredibly decent outings, what Jigsaw provides is shock and horror of the best kind. There is nothing wrong with cinema grappling and glorifying in supernatural horror, it is a staple, a diet that has meaning and an audience, the ghost story turned inward has always the power of eating away at some of basest fears. However, for a true sense of delightful repulsion, one cannot escape the scenarios dreamed up by the human mind and carried out in the name of science, vengeance and enjoyment.
Horror visited upon the mind by another human being is arguably the one situation that makes horror stand out, classic films such as Alien can fall into it because of the way that some aspects of humanity seek to control such gruesome forms of life. Yet it is in the mind of the sadistic, those who believe that they are carrying out a type of retribution on society, the devout followers of evil who willingly destroy, gas, obliterate another person for their religion, their sexuality, the way they are, these are the true horrors and Jigsaw gives as much as the audience can stand and with a true twist of screen writing injected into its very being.
Jigsaw works because they found a way to make the audience doubt what they are seeing on the screen, that the person who started the game had found a way to cheat death himself. It is in that doubt that niggles away at the mind like a fly who has been hammering home steroids for days; it is a sensation that will not leave the brain alone during the film and despite its relatively low budget, is one that works with absolute style and relish.
Hannah Emily Anderson shines with the glee of effervescence as the obsessed fan Eleanor Bonneville, the look of almost sexual gratification that is a stock in trade pastime in such films, is both devilish and haunting. With Matt Passmore, Paul Braunstein and the returning Tobin Bell as John Kramer all offering a sense of heroic deviancy into the mix, Jigsaw is a horror fans dream, one that eclipses many in its class.
An instalment that many would applaud as it brings back the nature of universal horror to its most raw, human state.
Ian D. Hall.