Tag Archives: mystery

Jigsaw (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


JigsawIf it’s Halloween, then it must be Saw. That was the slogan for one of the most successful horror franchises that began in 2004. It would go on to last seven films in seven years back to back. Then in 2010 the franchise would say its goodbye with ‘Saw 3D‘ (aka Saw: The Final Chapter) as the makers began losing ideas and the rise of another popular franchise was at hand. But seven years later we see ourselves facing the return of one of the most prolific horror icons in some time with ‘Jigsaw‘ as the Spierig Brothers helm the project.

It’s been 10 years since the death of John Kramer and bodies are beginning to show up with evidence pointing to Jigsaw himself. As Detective Holleran investigates the crime scenes a deadly game has begun as five victims must fight their way to freedom. Is it possible that the Jigsaw killer has arisen from the grave? Or is the possibility of a follower hoping to resurrect a legacy of carnage.

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As an avid fan of the original Saw film the series would go on to make six sequels thereafter. Up until ‘Saw III‘ you could justify or argue if the series should have ended with the death of John Kramer. However, the series continued and Costas Mandylor (Detective Hoffman), would carry the franchise all the way till the end. I enjoyed all the Saw films and what made the series so special was the fact that it tried to be different from all the other horror franchises in existence. With a complex story arc and returning characters there was a consistency with the series. And it must be said the composer for all the movies, Charlie Clouser, did an amazing job in utilizing alternative themes within each entry.

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With the announcement of Lionsgate returning to the Saw series in 2016 there were mixed feelings and were more negative than positive. All I asked myself was why? Obviously it’s a cash grab for the studio but as a fan of the series there wasn’t really any more story left to tell after ‘Saw 3D‘. It may have been the worst entry in the franchise but the twist ending provided a somewhat satisfying closure. By returning seven years later the movie would have to be a game changer and with a purpose. Unfortunately, all of my worst fears came true and even left me in anger after the movie had ended.

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The movie has the feel of a Saw film. The differences are mostly aesthetic and this time we escape from the dark and dingy hallways to more of the outside. Sort of like what we had seen in ‘Saw 3D‘ but more so. Now let’s get to the traps. They are no different this time around and can even be described as being less convoluted. I would actually say there weren’t any stand out traps. And finally the story element. We get to see a lot of the investigation aspect with the detectives; including Holleran. There comes a point when paranoia begins to build up and fingers being pointed in different directions as possible accomplices. And of course the almighty question that gets brought up and looms over the entire movie is if John Kramer has actually come back from the grave.

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We now get to the ending and the twist of the movie. As with all Saw films there’s an element of surprise as typically a montage would follow. But the twist in ‘Jigsaw‘ is but a summation of why this movie shouldn’t have taken place. It’s no different from any of the previous movies although it does add backstory to Jigsaw. Yet the revelation falls flat and feels like a desperation move by the studio to continue the franchise. To the general audience who may not have seen any of the Saw films going back 13 years the reaction may be different. As a reboot it may bode well with the newer audiences. But for the loyal fans of the series it may generate a negative reaction and maybe to the point of infuriating.

For the acting, I didn’t mind most of the detectives. As for the five victims who awaken in a barn they start off strong but then eventually fall into cliched hollow characters that when they die you have no feel for them. Tobin Bell, a.k.a Jigsaw, was good although his screen time wasn’t all that memorable but it was nice to see him reprise his role once again as the iconic villain. As a return to the franchise the movie was a total let down and completely unnecessary. Depending on whether the movie does well at the box-office I fear that more sequels may be in the works. Ultimately, ‘Jigsaw‘ should’ve stayed buried.

Rating: 5/10

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What do you think of ‘Jigsaw‘? Do you plan on watching the movie? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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The Disappointments Room (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


v1-btsxmjixmteyottqoze3mta2ozeymda7njqxozk0oqFrom Relativity Media comes the story about a family who move into their new home in the country side. When a room is discovered on the attic floor it reveals the grueling details of the secrets families kept as it regarded kids with disabilities or deformities. Soon after, Dana must find a way to keep her family safe as a vengeful entity terrorizes her and her family. The film is directed by D.J. Caruso and stars Kate Beckinsale.

Based on true events we follow Dana, an architect, as she stumbles upon a room in the attic that leads to a disappointments room where children were put in when families tried to secretly deny their child’s existence who has a deformity. The concept and loose tellings about such events caught my attention when a trailer was released and didn’t give away too much about the plot. With that said, this was such a disappointment as the title of the film suggests. There apparently weren’t any early screenings for critics nor are there many reviews up on Rotten Tomatoes which suggests an embargo may have been put in place. Even without going into detail so far, you’re probably thinking where this review is headed.

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The premise of the film caught my attention and what I wanted to learn more was why or how such rooms were constructed and the families involved. Unfortunately, very little is told in the movie and what’s even worse is how hollow the story involved with the home Dana and her family move into. We then get into the movie itself that is unsure what it wanted to be as it goes from being a mystery to a drama and then at times goes into a thriller. This reminded me of ‘Cold Creek Manor‘ back in 2003 as far as the pacing and where the movie was headed. A promising start just spirals into chaos and just gets worse and worse and worse.

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Let’s talk about Kate Beckinsale because her character is a mess. She’s a caring mother who suffers from depression after a traumatic events that persuades her husband in moving the family to the countryside. Dana starts seeing things and eventually you as the viewer aren’t sure what you’re seeing which then leads into bigger problems as the movie progresses. And how the movie handles her past to dealing with the room and the ghosts that follows is mind-boggling numb to watch. There is no clear connection between her depression and the ghost that is terrorizing her nor is it cohesive from a narrative sense. Many times her performance was cringeworthy; especially during the times when she is confronting her husband when something happens to her.

It’s hard to continue on bashing the film because there’s just so much to talk about without giving away any spoilers. Again, the premise got my attention and what I wanted to get was a story – thriller or horror- that would build up the suspense as the lead character pieces together the clues that would make you want to care for them. Unfortunately, ‘The Disappointments Room‘ is packaged in mystery but once you dig into the film it becomes a jumbled mess from story to character development to the resolve at the end. If you want to do justice it’s best to research the disappointments rooms rather then paying for something that you’ll get very little in details.

Rating: 3.5/10

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What do you guys think? Are you planning to watch ‘The Disappointments Room‘? Comment below and share your thoughts.