Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer (Tobin Bell), the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for ten years.
It seems the fate of every horror franchise that the opening chapter is rarely, if ever, bettered. Saw managed to make it to seven films before we arrive here at the inevitable remake with nothing much to show for it. So, really, the question is who is Jigsaw for? Is it for fans? Is it for those who never bothered with Saw the first time around? Or is it merely a way to keep the money-making machine turning over for another year? Perhaps it's a combination of all these things, but the reality is that unless you're a hardcore fan of the series, there's nothing here to excite or entertain as it's pretty much business as usual.
Simply put, we're treated to ridiculously complex methods of torturing and killing random people who have to atone for their sins, either by hurting / killing one of the group or sacrificing themselves. In other words, exactly like the last seven films. Again, like so many bad horror movies, Jigsaw falls into the fatal trap of thinking that people can care about characters when they're put in danger instead of allowing them to develop in a natural way. Sure, they may be horrible people and so forth - but if we're supposed to connect with them, enough at least to feel some way frightened for them, then we need to see them before they're chained up and ready to be sliced into gibbets of meat.
The story, as you'd expect, is utter tosh and just recycles the hits of the franchise into newer, slicker packaging. Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is very much dead, so how is he managing to plan all these murders? A copycat, but who? The film makes a fatal error about halfway through which, without spoiling it, will either appeal to some people or have you hurling your popcorn at the screen in anger. Whatever your opinion on it may be, it's clear that screenwriters Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger essentially watched any HBO series from the past five or ten years and decided to fold some of the worst elements of them into the film because they think that's what people out of a Saw movie.
Ultimately, there's not much to recommend about Jigsaw to people who've already seen the preceding films. It makes a feeble and half-hearted attempt to try make itself relevant for a new era, but the fact is that it's nothing new or exciting. The only people who are going to get something out of this are gore-hungry horror fans who are willing to accept poor storytelling and bland direction in the service to a franchise that's well and truly clapped out.