By Caitlin Brenner

Spoilers for “Jigsaw” follow.

When you watch a “Saw” movie, you probably know what to expect. The first scene opens in a dimly lit room, with trapped human guinea pigs about to endure the worst torture of their lives. “Jigsaw” was no different; however, the eighth installment of this franchise surprisingly wasn’t the worst. It definitely wasn’t the best either.

Like every other movie in the series, “Jigsaw” left me entertained, but I didn’t leave the theater wanting more. Since “Saw VII: The Final Chapter” wasn’t actually the final chapter, hopefully “Jigsaw” will be the conclusion of this franchise. Then again, would any of us be surprised if it returned with more?

Every film in the series has its fair share of gore, but this movie seemed to up the ante with the level of blood, dismemberment and deterioration shown on screen. Gore doesn’t bother me too much, but this film had me looking away from the screen a few times. Eating while watching this movie isn’t something I’d encourage.

The main plot of “Jigsaw” centers around the question of whether or not John Kramer, or Jigsaw, is alive. He is supposed to be dead; we saw him die in “Saw III,” yet he is still torturing people with his infamous tests in this film.

This question remains in everyone’s minds throughout the movie, offering audiences at least one entertaining thought to hold onto. Other than the confusion surrounding John Kramer’s mortality, this movie is nothing special. It has a strong “CSI” feel to it, with the detectives and doctors getting plenty of screen time. Those were the moments that left me feeling a bit bored.

Tobin Bell speaks during an interview.

Tobin Bell plays the infamous John Kramer/Jigsaw. (Source: Wikimedia)

As always, Tobin Bell was the perfect amount of sinister and entertaining as he reprised his role as John Kramer. His voice alone is creepy enough, so the thought of him returning from the dead kept fans interested throughout the film.

Some of the more frustrating scenes of “Jigsaw” involved the victims’ responses to the tests. After seeing so many “Saw” movies, it’s easy for audiences to predict what will happen if characters don’t respond in certain ways. When characters refuse to “play by the rules” or don’t act quickly enough, it always leads to someone being killed. This predictability has a tendency to get old.

Known for its dramatic twists at the finale of each film, this eighth installment didn’t disappoint with its jaw-dropping revelation. Judging from this moment alone, “Jigsaw” was not the worst movie in the series. Without its twist, however, there isn’t anything too special about the film as a whole.

If watching gore leaves you feeling sick, I don’t recommend seeing this film. “Jigsaw” didn’t shy away from showing as much as possible when it came to blood, violence and everything inbetween. The deaths and punishments in the movie are gruesome, so if graphic gore will bother you, your money won’t be well spent.

However, if you’re a die-hard “Saw” fan or just curious enough to see what it has to offer, this film will keep you just as entertained as any of the others in the franchise. The concept is the same, but the series continues to attract plenty of viewers. So if it isn’t broken, why fix it?

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