Jigsaw (2017 film)
Theatrical release poster featuring Tobin Bell
|Directed by||The Spierig Brothers|
by James Wan
|Music by||Charlie Clouser|
|Edited by||Kevin Greutert|
|Box office||$103 million|
Jigsaw is a 2017 American horror film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, and starring Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, and Hannah Emily Anderson. It is the eighth installment in the Saw franchise, picking up over a decade after the death of the eponymous Jigsaw killer, during the police investigation of a new succession of murders that fit his modus operandi. Saw 3D (2010) was originally deemed the final installment of the series, before Lionsgate Films commissioned the production of Jigsaw from a pitch by Stolberg and Goldfinger.
Filming began in November 2016, with post-production following in January. The film was released in the United States on October 27, 2017. Jigsaw received mostly unfavorable reviews from critics but was a commercial success, grossing $103 million worldwide against a $10 million budget.
Ten years after the death of John Kramer, criminal Edgar Munsen is shot and apprehended by Detectives Hunt and Halloran after activating a remote trigger. Meanwhile, five people – Mitch, Anna, Ryan, Carly, and an unconscious man – are held captive in a barn with chains around their necks. A tape recording from John Kramer explains they must give a sacrifice of blood and confess their sins. The chains pull them towards a wall of buzzsaws. Most of the group survive by cutting themselves to offer blood, but the unconscious man awakens too late to escape.
Their next test reveals that Carly is a purse snatcher, who accidentally caused the death of an asthmatic woman. To save the others from being hanged, she must inject herself with one of three needles – one containing an antidote to a poison in her system, one containing saline, and one containing acid. She refuses, so Ryan stabs her with all three to save himself, killing her.
Halloran and Detective Hunt investigate the discovery of bodies that appear to be the unconscious man and Carly. Halloran becomes suspicious of pathologists Logan Nelson, who is a veteran and former doctor whose wife was killed two years prior, and Eleanor Bonneville. Later, Munsen goes missing from the hospital. His body is found inside John's grave when it is exhumed by the police.
Ryan attempts to escape through a door with the words "No Exit" on it, but his leg crashes through loose floorboards, and is ensnared by wires. A tape recorder found next to his leg reveal that he is being punished for breaking the rules and that he must pull a lever to sever his leg and be "set free". Exploring the room, Anna and Mitch walk inside a silo and are trapped inside. A recording reveals they will be killed unless Ryan pulls the lever. Ryan pulls the lever, severing his leg, while saving Anna and Mitch.
Eleanor reveals to Logan that she is a fangirl of the Jigsaw case, and has built replicas of many of his traps in her studio. She is worried this might incriminate her. Hunt follows them and informs Halloran.
The next test reveals Mitch sold a motorcycle with a faulty brake to John's nephew, resulting in his death. Mitch will be killed by a spiral-shaped blade unless he can reach a brake. Anna attempts to help him, but he is killed. Halloran finds a corpse appearing to be Mitch in Eleanor’s studio and calls for Logan and Eleanor’s arrest.
Logan convinces Hunt to let them go, as both suspect Halloran. Eleanor deduces the game's location and she and Logan depart for the barn. Halloran pursues them. Meanwhile, Hunt finds pieces of flesh in Halloran's freezer, fitting Jigsaw's M.O. and implicating Halloran as the killer.
Anna is drugged while attempting to escape, and awakens to find herself and Ryan chained in a room with a still-living John Kramer. John reveals that Anna suffocated her baby and framed her husband while Ryan caused the death of several friends in a car accident. John tells them they have gotten his message "backwards". He places a shotgun between them and tells them it is the "key" to their survival. Anna attempts to shoot Ryan, but the gun backfires and kills her. Ryan realizes that the keys to his and Anna's chains were in the gun and were destroyed when Anna fired it, leaving him to die.
Logan and Eleanor are ambushed by Halloran at the barn. Eleanor escapes, while Halloran is drugged by an unseen assailant. Logan and Halloran awaken in collars rigged with laser cutters. They are told to confess their sins to survive and may choose who goes first. Halloran forces Logan to go first. Logan confesses that he mislabeled John's x-rays years prior, causing his cancer to go undiagnosed. Despite confessing, Logan is killed. Then, Halloran admits to allowing criminals to walk free for personal gain and his collar deactivates.
Logan reveals that he is still alive and that the barn games occurred ten years prior. He was the man who appeared to die in the first game, but John, having decided Logan shouldn't die over an honest mistake, saved him and recruited him as his first apprentice. The bodies that were found were actually the bodies of criminals Halloran allowed to walk free, which Logan placed into the same tests that took place at Tuck's Pig Farm ten years ago. Logan also reveals that Munsen, one of the criminals Halloran let go, killed his wife. However, because Halloran broke the rules and forced Logan to go first, he will die and be framed as the killer. Logan reactivates the collar around Halloran's neck, killing him.
- Matt Passmore as Logan Nelson
- Callum Keith Rennie as Detective Halloran
- Clé Bennett as Detective Keith Hunt
- Hannah Emily Anderson as Eleanor Bonneville
- Laura Vandervoort as Anna
- Paul Braunstein as Ryan
- Mandela Van Peebles as Mitch
- Brittany Allen as Carly
- Josiah Black as Edgar Munsen
- Tobin Bell as John Kramer/Jigsaw
Saw 3D was intended to be the final Saw film. The film was set to be split into two parts, but Lionsgate only allowed the filmmakers to make one more film after Saw VI under-performed at the box office. According to Saw 3D writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, because of the change, "the big reveal of Dr. Gordon was a bit underserved ... perhaps creating more questions than answers. There were several ideas [we] never quite figured out. But [I] don't want to say what they were, because you never know what might happen in the future."
After the intended conclusion, Lionsgate ceased making Saw films, while waiting to hear a pitch that they thought made it worthwhile to resurrect the series. Jigsaw was conceived when writers Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, who had spent two years pursuing the opportunity to write a Saw entry, proposed their vision. It became known in July 2016 that brothers Michael and Peter Spierig would direct the film. The producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules had also produced the previous entries in the Saw series. Composer Charlie Clouser has described the film as a "reinvention" of the series, opining that "the Spierig brothers can deliver a fresh take on the material that will establish a new story line and new characters that can carry the saga into the future". The directors further detailed their approach as being "Saw for 2017", and Michael Spierig explained, "It's perhaps not quite as vicious, and more fun. But it's still full of gore, that's for sure. It's got a really great mystery, and there are very interesting twists".
In October 2016, production was confirmed to have commenced under the working title of Saw: Legacy. The film was shot in Toronto in November 2016, and entered post-production by January. On March 2, 2017, Bloody Disgusting revealed the first plot details and a full actor list, confirming that Tobin Bell would return in the role of John Kramer. In June 2017, the Motion Picture Association of America listed the film under the official title of Jigsaw, rating it R, for "sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and for language". On August 14, 2017, the film passed uncut in the United Kingdom with an 18 Certificate by the BBFC. In regard to the new title, writer Josh Stolberg clarified that "when a writer is writing a movie, they put something on the cover page to separate it from other films. So when we were writing this film, the title read Saw: Legacy but it was never official or 'decided'."
On September 16, 2017, Lionsgate released five posters to promote Jigsaw. The posters show off people in the traditional Billy the Puppet makeup, captioned "He is Everything. He is Everywhere. He is Everyone". The release of the posters was Lionsgate's way of reasserting the series' dominance over the Halloween season.
Halloween Blood Drive
The Annual Blood Drive is the series' tradition, where before the release of the films in October, mobile blood stations are set up around the United States, where fans who donate blood receive a free ticket to see the respective film of that year. The tradition started in 2004, after the overwhelming success of Saw, and continued for each of the sequels until it stopped in 2009 before the release of Saw VI. Due to the arrival of Jigsaw in October, the blood drive was revived for another year, promoting the film with eight posters released by Lionsgate, featuring "Nurses" Grae Drake, Dan Rockwell, Susanne Bartch, Nyakim Gatwech, Shaun Ross, Mosh, Mykie, and Amanda LePore.
As of September 25, 2017, 120,000 pints (57,000 L) of blood had been donated, which has led to over 360,000 lives being saved.
Charlie Clouser, who provided the score for all previous entries in the Saw series, returned to score Jigsaw. Clouser re-imagined the music of the Saw franchise, following the six year hiatus between Saw 3D and Jigsaw. Clouser stated in 2016, "this will be an opportunity [for me] to re-imagine how [I] approach the score, and [I] will be trying a more stark, bold, and stripped-down approach that will be more in line with the strong vision that the Spierig brothers are bringing to the table". The soundtrack of the film was distributed digitally on October 27, 2017. Some tracks from the film can also be found on Volume 2 of the Saw Anthology Collection.
Jigsaw was released in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2017, and in the United States theatrically on October 27, 2017. It was featured in IMAX screenings for the first week of its theatrical run.
Jigsaw has grossed $38.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $64.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $103 million, against a production budget of $10 million.
In the United States and Canada, Jigsaw was released alongside Thank You for Your Service and Suburbicon, and is projected to gross around $20 million from 2,941 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $1.6 million from Thursday night previews at 2,400 theaters, just below the $1.7 million Saw 3D made from midnight screenings seven years prior, and $7.2 million on its first day. It went on to open to $16.64 million, finishing first at the box office but marking the second lowest debut of the franchise. In its second weekend the film dropped 61% to $6.56 million, finishing third behind newcomers Thor: Ragnarok and A Bad Moms Christmas. In its third weekend, the film dropped another 47% and made $3.43 million, finishing fifth.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 33% based on 87 reviews, with an average rating of 4.76/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Jigsaw definitely won't win many converts to the Saw franchise, but for longtime fans, it should prove a respectably revolting—if rarely scary—diversion." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 39 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported women under 25 (21% of the film's audience) and older males (30%) gave it a 76% and 70% overall positive score, respectively.
IGN gave the film a score of 4.5/10, writing "The good news is, Jigsaw is not the worst horror movie of the year. The bad news is, it's still bad enough that that's the good news...[It] doesn't capture what made the Saw franchise work in the first place." Darren French of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C", calling it disappointing and overly long. Bloody Disgusting gave the film two and a half out of five, saying the film "while being a fun ride, fails to justify its existence with a story that is overly familiar and a twist that doesn't live up to most of its predecessors".
Variety's Owen Gleiberman found the film "garishly rote" saying "For 92 minutes, it more or less succeeds in sawing through your boredom, slicing and dicing with a glum explicitness that raises the occasional tingle of gross-out suspense but no longer carries any kick of true shock value." Germain Lussier of io9 largely panned the film saying "[it] is one of the better films in the franchise. Unfortunately, that's not saying much."
On January 16, 2018, Lionsgate were reported to have begun discussing a ninth installment, for which the Spierig brothers would not be returning. On April 3, 2018, Twisted Pictures were publicized to have begun actively developing a sequel with writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger.
On May 16, 2019, it was confirmed that a ninth film in the series was officially in production under the working title The Organ Donor. Former series director Darren Lynn Bousman will return to helm the film. Comedian and actor Chris Rock will also be involved as an executive producer, in addition to writing the story treatment. Jigsaw writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger will write the script. Rock stated "I've been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004. I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place." The film is scheduled for an October 23, 2020 release.
On June 26, 2019 Stolberg confirmed on Twitter that the ninth installment will exist in the same canon as the previous eight films, and will not be a reboot, nor will it be a direct sequel to Jigsaw.
On July 8, 2019 it was confirmed that Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols will co-star in the film playing the roles of a police detective, the police detective's father, the police detective's partner, and a police captain, respectively. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group's chairman Joe Drake stated "We think Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock along with Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols make this film completely special in the Saw canon. We can’t wait to unleash this unexpected and sinister new story on fans of this franchise. This is next level of Saw on full tilt."
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