As the 8th film in the Saw franchise, Jigsaw brings Tobin Bell to the center stage as the character who loved to scare us in the earlier movies. The same angles, twists, and turns are used here, along with a ton of different torture devices, but the franchise's seven-year hiatus hasn't led to any fresh ideas. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release comes with a fantastic Dolby Vision HDR presentation along with an amazing Dolby Atmos track. All supplements are also included on the 4K Ultra HD Disc as well, including the Blu-ray and Digital Copy, making this release Recommended for fans who are also 4K enthusiasts.
Wait, what? He's back? He's really back with his infamous killer contraptions? Of course, he's is, even after a seven-year hiatus.
Jigsaw marks the eighth film in Saw franchise series since 2004. With an eight-film combined budget of $77 million, the box office gross of all eight movies is a hair-line under $1 billion. So if you think there will be more Saw films with more Tobin Bell, the answer is a hard yes. The Spierig Bros. (Undead, Predestination, Daybreakers) are in the director chairs this time around as they put Jigsaw/John Cramer (Bell) in the center of the story.
After doing so many films, it must be difficult to work in new torture devices and twist and turns that we haven't seen before. That's more or less true here, as everything we see, is some iteration of something from a past film. You'd think that with seven years in between both films, there would be a spark of something fresh, but there really isn't. That being said, it's a lot of fun to go through this barnyard of horrors that will keep you on the edge of your seat and yelling at the screen for characters to act quickly before they meet their nasty demise.
Jigsaw begins with five people trapped with chains around their neck as they inch towards running circular saws. As this is going on, several dead bodies show up in the city, with the iconic puzzle piece of flesh missing, forcing two detectives to solve the mystery with the help of two forensic examiners.
Like I said above, nothing new here, but still fun to watch. As with each Saw movie, the score heats up as we get a big twist at the end that is supposed to blow us away. With Jigsaw, you can expect a big twist too, but it will leave you questioning everything that happened beforehand. With the first film, the twist was thoroughly thought out and well executed, but here, it comes across as lazy and rushed.
On the gore side, there is plenty of excellent, gooey practical effects. The suspense is at an all-time high too, specifically in a scene where two victims are buried in chicken feed where tons of sharp objects begin to fall on top of them. I can feel the sweat starting to form even as I write about it. Tobin Bell is, of course, great in his role again, where everyone else pulls either the over-the-top card or a simplistic noir-like performance. Jigsaw delivers in the suspense and gore department but does nothing further. Sure there is some interesting history with John Cramer, which no doubt will play into future films, but it leads nowhere. Fans of the franchise will likely enjoy all of the nasty bits along with the return of Tobin Bell on screen.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Jigsaw comes with a dual-layered UHD66 Disc and a Region A locked Blu-ray Disc. There is an insert for a Digital HD copy. The discs are housed in an eco-friendly, hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve too. Trailers play before the menu.
Jigsaw features a 2160p 4K UHD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision and HDR10 for those who have capable televisions.
Surprisingly, this is a fantastic looking image for a low budget horror film. There are two types of color palettes -- cold, dark rooms with blue and rusty green filters, where every character and device looks ominous, and a giant barn where colors are much warmer. Even with heavy filters applied, Dolby Vision really accentuates every distinct piece of wood and contraption. The color differences between the skin tones and pieces of wood, as well as the lighting, are all distinguishable and look excellent. The blood is always deep and rich red that always contrasts well with any other surface so that you can see the carnage in all its glory. In exterior scenes, the image is bright and normal with luscious greens in the trees, clear blue skies, and great brown and silvers to the buildings. When in the cooler color rooms, the silvers, grays, and blues are enhanced so that you can differentiate background stone walls, clothing, and other torture devices. All of these visual colors only enhance the detail too, which is super fun for a movie as bloody as this.
The detail will show all of the rusty, dented, and grimy torture devices, as well as the individual creases in a certain twine that tears apart flesh. The wood splinters can be seen easily too as well as individual hairs on the actor's faces and the creepy puppet. Even some of the CGI effects are incredibly detailed. Black levels are very deep and inky with zero crush or bleed out moments. There were no other visual ailments with this image, leaving it with a fantastic video presentation.
Jigsaw boasts a very good Dolby Atmos track that satisfies most areas of the soundscape. Sound effects are loud and very suspenseful with great directionality. All of the fast spinning circular saws sound deep and sharp, and when they cut through objects or flesh, you'll be able to hear all of the gooey bits being ripped apart. Gunshots are fluid and robust with the height speakers coming into play here. The height speakers also bring in that fun scene where the chicken feed falls from the ceiling as well as the sharp objects falling down on our characters. There were a couple of moments where I looked up to see if something was actually falling from the ceiling.
Other torture device sound effects bring the bass, pushing the soundscape to full intensity, while ambient noises, of city life or rattling chains, all sound big and flow through the rear speakers nicely. While all of the sound effects are boisterous and loud, some of the torture devices sound like recycled noises such as scenes with circular saws will have the same sound as a different torture device that is powered on. It was noticeable but didn't ruin the film by any means. The music score is somewhat forgettable and never really adds anything to any of the scenes, which should have been intensified in certain suspenseful moments. The exception is the final big twist where the strings come full force and you hear that familiar score resonate. Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills.
With a commentary and two featurettes, there's a lot of ground covered here. Fans should be pleased.
Audio Commentary - Producers Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg deliver a decent commentary track as they talk about making the film. They are obviously big fans of the franchise and excited to be a part of the new film. They talk about bringing back Tobin Bell, the new storyline, casting, visual effects, the barn, and the gore. It's a fun commentary track if you loved the film.
I Speak For The Dead: The Legacy of Jigsaw Documentary (HD, 82 Mins.) - Content-wise, this is an in-depth look at the making of the film with tons of cast and crew interviews, on-set footage, and behind the scenes that show us how certain scenes were done and what went into the story and characters, and score. Tobin Bell pops up too. It's a great bonus feature.
The Choice is Yours: Exploring the Props (HD, 7 Mins.) - Not sure why this was left out of the above impressive bonus feature, but here we get a cool look at all the different devices, torture room, and aspects of how they were made here.
Jigsaw is a fun return to the Saw franchise. There's tons of blood and guts along with big twists and turns (although they might not make a whole lot of sense or bring anything new to the table). Still, it's fun to see the blood flow and Tobin Bell back as the villain here. The Dolby Vision HDR presentation and Dolby Atmos track are excellent, while the bonus features cover a ton of ground. All that being said, this 4K UHD release comes Recommended!