On DVD & Blu-Ray: July 20, 2021

A pleasant surprise. After religiously flocking to theaters each Halloween for four straight years in the early aughts to see what Jon Kramer's Jigsaw was up to the gig for the Jig eventually ran stale circa '09, but everyone knows that's no reason for Hollywood to stop making franchise movies. Tobin Bell appeared in three more Saw films after the series had seemingly run its course - all to diminishing returns - and while Bell is not back in the saddle for Spiral, a chapter that is said to come from the Book of Saw, this ninth film in the franchise does its best to reinvigorate what intrigue originally pulled fans into the procedural world sequel-director Darren Lynn Bousman constructed from James Wan's original. That or at thirty-four nostalgia is beginning to work in weirder ways than I thought possible. 

What we will call Chris Rock's Saw goes for broke and comes out as scathed as one would hope an experience with the series would leave them. Retracting the goofiness that plagued the most recent iterations in the franchise and enlisting some genuine intensity and gore while reinstating a tone consistent with the mythology of the series, Rock and Bousman somehow managed to create a film that is a solid episode of a cable cop procedural that didn't realize it was being made for cable TV. That may sound like a slight, but the bones of that procedural are what lend the film its foundation from which Rock's unexpected turn is eased into and eventually welcomed. Rock is not the actor one casts in this if he hadn't pitched the idea himself, but his singular cadence is largely overcome while his presence goes undiminished. By the time the twist is revealed and that trademark music builds there is an unexpected depth (shallow though it may be, there is depth nonetheless) to this material that brings Jigsaw into a new decade. Not so much a franchise reborn, but a fun enough reminder for those of a certain age of what the much-maligned "torture porn" genre brought to the landscape of horror if not being culturally significant enough (thankfully) to bring it back around full swing. Full video review here. C+

Diego Boneta, Alexandra Daddario, Justin Chatwin, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Travis Fimmel and Billy Crudup star in Die in a Gunfight which follows the Rathcarts and the Gibbons who are essentially modern day Montagues and Capulets. As two rival families who each control their own media empire in New York City, their teenage kids ignore their feud and fall in love. With hitman, corporate corruption, love, jealousy, revenge and lust, all of the characters and emotions come to a head at the wedding in this fast moving action filled love story.

No comments:

Post a Comment