If you’re looking for the best horror movies from 2017, Jigsaw is now available on a variety of VOD platforms, including YouTube, Google Play Movies, and Xfinity On Demand. Though most critics didn’t rank this as one of the best horror movies of 2017, the majority of audiences loved it.
Saw debuted in 2004, and each year around Halloween, horror fans were treated to another installation from the famed franchise. But even though it’s one of the most successful horror franchises of all time, the series started to dwindle in popularity, and the last few additions weren’t received well by most viewers. And after the seventh film was released in 2010— titled Saw 3D initially, and then renamed The Final Chapter in hopes to raise the popularity of the film (it didn’t work)—there was nothing for seven years. So, when it was announced that another addition was debuting in 2017 and that it was going to be titled after the story’s central character, Jigsaw, horror fans went nuts.
Directed by the Spierig brothers (Peter and Michael), the film stars Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Laura Vandervoort, and Mandela Van Peebles among others. But the cast member who made the most waves is Jigsaw himself, Tobin Bell. With an impressive audience score of 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (with over 28,000 user ratings), the site provides the premise for one of the most popular horror movies of 2017.
“After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?”
It’s difficult to reboot a horror franchise once it has dwindled, but the filmmakers of Jigsaw figured out how to do it successfully. Instead of trying to recreate the magic of the first film, which would be nearly impossible to accomplish, they made the essence of the movie feel fresh and took the story in a different direction.
The first seven horror movies in the franchise were very dark, even being filmed with a dark green color scheme, and had very little humor (clever one-liners are often an ingredient in modern horror movies). But Jigsaw ditched the dark overtones (aside from the actual killings that are taking place, of course), embraced a full-color palette, added some humor, and managed to create new deadly contraptions for the would-be victims.
For the most part, the story is well written, the delivery is sharp, and most of the cast deliver solid performances. The ending is overloaded by exposition that’s almost too much to bear but, considering the ride to the ending is a blast, this doesn’t tank the whole movie. If nothing else, it’s thoroughly enjoyable seeing Bell reprise his role as one of the most popular horror baddies.
But if you’re looking to be surprised by the twist ending like the other movies in this horror franchise, then you may be disappointed. But even though they tip their hand a bit early and you will probably figure out what’s going on (whether Jigsaw is alive or dead) sooner than the filmmakers had hoped, this is still a solid reboot to refresh the series.
The fact that most critics panned Jigsaw shouldn’t deter fans (and apparently it didn’t because the film did huge numbers) because none of the Saw movies have ever been Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. This is very much a franchise for avid horror fans. If you liked the first few horror movies in this collection but were disappointed (like most) with the last few, then you will probably enjoy Jigsaw.
Because of its new feel, solid writing, use of wit, Tobin Bell reprising his role, and the new direction the story takes, Jigsaw is one of the best horror movies of 2017, and it’s currently available on VOD.