Jigsaw (2002)

Jigsaw (2002)

Put him together…he’ll tear you apart!

A group of students are given their final project to complete. They are each given a body part of a broken mannequin and have to go home and decorate it as they like. Upon completion, the mannequin is to be re-assembled and see what it looks like with each part supposedly reflecting the personality of the different individuals. Unfortunately for them, the mannequin comes alive and sets about taking real body parts from its victims.

 

With an intriguing premise such as this, it’s a pity that Jigsaw is such a low budget waste of time. The film looks like it was shot on a camcorder by a bunch of mates at a friend’s house. You know the sort of film I mean: the type where a group of actors are featured who’ve clearly never been in front of a camera before in their lives (and judging by performances, never will be in front of one again). The type of films with really dodgy pictures and sound because they can’t afford decent equipment. The type of films with awesome front covers and thrilling plot synopses only for you to eventually find out that the film is nothing like what was promised. The type of films that just make you want to slap on The Evil Dead or Braindead to show low budget film makers how it’s done. The type of films that think talking is scary and that they can get away with being boring pieces of drivel simply by having a few kills crammed in to the last part of the film. Jigsaw is that type of film.

I’m not knocking the idea. It’s a solid concept but why bother trying to sell such a good idea if you know you’re not going to be able to back it up with money? It’s like the entire budget has been loaded into the finale and the script had to over-compensate in the rest of the film by keeping things as low key and uneventful as possible. Things eventually pick up when Jigsaw comes to life but this is about fifty minutes into the film. So that only leaves about nineteen minutes for it to kill and build itself a proper body. There’s some mild gore and a nasty death involving a circular saw but it’s too little, too late. They don’t even explain why it comes to life – not a hint, not a clue, nothing. No voodoo. No lightning. No blood sacrifice. It just gets up and starts killing.

The Jigsaw creature does have a rather unique look and it’s rather quirky and awkward movement adds to the chill factor it exhibits. The creature is well-designed and in all honesty, deserved a better film. Though it’s a bit of a creative cop-out to have the students decide to put a circular saw on one of his arms and a sawn-off shotgun on the other. Why not, you know, some proper arms? Oh wait, that wouldn’t be useful for when it comes to life and kills people because circular saws and shotguns are much more cool to use.

This leaves the opening fifty minutes for characters and dialogue. Lots of dialogue. We get lots of small talk, guys hitting on women, talking about childhood traumas and plenty of diabolical one-liners to name a few things. To say that it’s slow and uneventful would be too kind. The film populates its world with your typical teenage characters: the goth, the nerd, the bitch, etc. They would never hang around with each other in real life! I guess having a group of gloomy goths designing the mannequin would have come up with the same sort of theme. The acting is really bad all around and it’s no surprise to see that the majority of the cast have received little to no work since.

To really kick you below the belt, the film ends with a head-scratching non-ending. It doesn’t tie anything up at all. The final girl remains tied up on the floor as Jigsaw goes to kill the professor instead. Yet she was the one who added a limb to the creature, not the professor. The film ends with Jigsaw still alive. It’s almost as if there’s a reel of footage missing and no one noticed, presumably because no one ever watched the final cut. As ripped off as I felt whilst watching the film, the ending just violated me in ways I couldn’t imagine. What would an extra couple of minutes cost if they’d properly finished the story?

 

Jigsaw is just absolute rubbish. Put all of the pieces back inside the box and forget you ever attempted to piece this puzzle together.

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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