Let’s check out the attempt to revitalize the series.
I suppose at least this time they turned on the lights.
I didn’t know much about this one before plugging it in. I had debated seeing it in theaters, but it left before I had the chance. I truly hoped that the traps would be less absurd, and the series would return to a more grounded psychological thriller—this is certainly not the case. The engineering required for the first trap alone is so far beyond anything that is remotely plausible that I didn’t care about the outcome.
Also going to go ahead and put a spoiler warning here.
I guess we can’t be surprised that the reboot offers nothing new. The creative juices in the series were so dead that no amount of electricity would resurrect the corpse. At best this is a leg twitch, not a rebirth.
The characters are (mostly) new, which on the one hand is something that the series needed. However, none of them are particularly interesting. We have the grizzled cops, the expected victims, and of course Tobin Bell. Character development has never been the series’ strong suit, but this one seems to on the lower end. We also have a continuation of the theme that there is no way these victims could have been known to the trap makers. The victims do fine—I should note that. It is the cops who seem the stiffest here, so we have an odd inverse of the more recent films.
We end up with two possible suspects, and both are so obvious that anyone familiar with the series is going to assume something else is going on. Most evidence points to Detective Halloran, but he is so obviously a crooked cop that it is hard to believe. His villainy isn’t the same type as Jigsaw’s, so he didn’t really seem like a good suspect. Having a dirty cop investigating and running into Jigsaw could have been kind of cool, but this is squandered here.
It is kind of odd, this one isn’t really any worse than the others, but it certainly isn’t a new beginning. However, it seems a little worse due to the lengthy delay and the supposed promise of revitalization.
The biggest thing here is the series needs to learn to let go of John Kramer. Tobin Bell owns the character, but at this point he is such a bloated figure there is nothing left to do. The best thing possible would be to have his son or something take over. Even moving the series to a new city or region would help greatly. While this series has worked a lot better than Hellraiser as a whole, it is kind of just idling along now.
I don’t hate the Saw series, but I think it has run its course. I am sure another attempt will be made to rejuvenate the series, and maybe it will work. However, I think we can all remain a little skeptical. 4/10.