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WEEKEND WEB: Time to call ‘cut’ on the Saw series




MIKEY CLARKE reviews the latest instalment of horror classic.

The same pieces of the Jigsaw.

Remember when the seventh instalment of the Saw movies promised to be the final chapter? Yeah, I didn’t believe them either.

So the Hallowe’en staple – and highest-grossing horror franchise of all-time – from 2004-10 returns for part number eight.

Seven years after Saw 3D pretty much tied the entire story together, Tobin Bell returns as inventive psychopath John ‘Jigsaw’ Kramer . . . or does he?

A series of murders bear all the markings of Jigsaw killer. Is he really back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a copycat killer?

For much of the running time, the plot cuts between two storylines.

There’s the victims’ point of view – all of whom have dark secrets, much like we saw in the other films.

These ‘victims’ must work together to survive a series of deadly tests – each more gruesome than the last.

We also focus on detectives Hunt (Clé Bennett) and Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie), who work alongside a pathologist called Nelson (Matt Passmore) and his assistant Eleanor (Hannah Emily Anderson) to try and put an end to the killings.

Back in 2004, James Wan’s modest, low-budget shocker Saw felt fresh and innovative. The films that followed felt like half-hearted ‘cash-ins’ – despite some having their merits. When I look back on them, each instalment blends in with each other. I’ve no doubt that Jigsaw will suffer the same fate before long – blending in with its predecessors.

I must admit that Jigsaw is a lot of fun, but after investing so much time and money into the franchise, I wanted more.

Believe it or not, the first Saw film premiered at Sundance. Was I expecting Jigsaw to be film festival worthy? Of course not. But something with the same love and care invested into the original would have been nice.

I guess you could argue why reinvent the wheel?If you loved the others, I’ve no doubt you’ll love this. Hate the others and you’ll hate this too. It’s as simple as that.

But after a seven-year hiatus, this is pieced together with a complete lack of invention – and after its lacklustre opening box-office weekend it ‘finally’ looks like the series will be getting the chop.

Rating: 2.5/5 Mikey Clarke

Branagh and co go full steam ahead

with Christie remake

This lavish remake of the 1974 original sees Kenneth Branagh take up the mantle of the world’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot. Based on one of Agatha Christie’s most infamous novels, a train ride housing some of society’s high-rollers unfolds into a suspenseful mystery when 13 stranded strangers all become suspects after a fellow passenger is murdered on the luxury locomotive – leaving Poirot as the man brought in to solve the puzzle before the killer strikes again. Oscar nominee Branagh headlines (and also directs) an all-star cast that includes Academy Award winner Judi Dench.

Bad moms brought out again to face the festive challenges

There’s fast-tracking, and there’s plain and simply just ‘cashing in’. That’s exactly what greedy movie execs have done here with this super-quick sequel to last year’s generally well-received female comedy ensemble. This time the moms of Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) – including Curb your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines and Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon – get involved, as the under-appreciated trio rebel against the challenges and expectations of Christmas.

Trusting a stranger to stay alive

Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers – Idris Elba’s Ben Bass and Kate Winslet’s Alex Martin – who had a freak encounter that brought them together, must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realise help isn’t coming – the duo embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.

ALSO SHOWING

SOUTH HOLLAND CENTRE SPALDING:

THE JUNGLE BUNCH (U), SATURDAY AT 2PM

SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH:

FERRARI 312B (PG), TONIGHT AT 7.30PM

THE PARTY (15), TOMORROW & TUESDAY

POKEMON – THE MOVIE: I CHOSE YOU! (PG), SUNDAY & MONDAY

DAWN OF THE DEAD (18), TUESDAY AT 7.30PM

THE PRINCESS BRIDE (PG), WEDNESDAY AT 7.30PM



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