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The Official Movie Review Thread (WARNING!! SPOILERS!!!)

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DarkToph
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« Reply #300 on: October 21, 2016, 02:23:47 pm »

Halloween Horror House: Ringu Review



Plot: There’s a new ‘urban legend’ that says if you watch a video that airs on local television in Iku that you will die in one week. A journalist named Asakawa fears that the legend is indeed true, and her life is put in jeopardy when she watches the tape. She has seven days to figure out the truth behind this video and hopefully lift the curse.

Breakdown: I am fully aware that, so far, this year’s HHH is lackluster with just two official entries and one pre-game show. And I am very sorry about that. Other crap just gnaws at what is left of my brain. Shame, because I actually had several objectives with this year’s HHH and one of them was to review J-horror movies and their American remakes one after the other. Back in the early 00’s, it was kinda a thing for America to remake popular J-horrors. Some were hits, like The Ring, others were making something stupid out of something kinda stupid like One Missed Call.

I just find it fascinating that the US tries to remake J-Horror when there’s such a stark contrast between typical American horror and typical Japanese horror. American/Western horror is more about jump scares, serial killers and gore while Japanese horror is more about buildup, ambiance and story. I assume many Westerners would find J-Horror to be boring, and I kinda understand that. I also would understand if many Japanese people found American horror to be disgusting and uninteresting. Melding the two worlds just seems like mixing oil and water.

However, they did see success, which is why it was such a trend back then. However, it was really just running on steam from the success of The Ring, which was the first American J-Horror remake out the gate. The Ring, the Grudge, and One Missed Call are probably the most well-known of these remakes, but the list also includes Dark Water and Pulse. The trend has since died, but that doesn’t mean America doesn’t still try to adapt horror movies from other countries.

So how’s Ringu? I watched this movie some time ago and gave it a rewatch for this review, and while I won’t say it’s particularly scary to me, there is a definite feeling of tension in the air as we grow attached to Asakawa and worry for her safety. The fact that she has a young son doesn’t help matters.

The story behind the tape is quite interesting, and Sadako is a very compelling ‘villain’. I enjoyed slowly learning her story, and it was a little freaky in its own right.

The twist is something I never saw coming, though I do have to say it does make a huge chunk of the movie completely pointless. They did all that research, went to all that trouble and did all that work to lift the curse and save their lives….and in the end it’s essentially a chain letter curse; pass it on and you’re safe, don’t and you’re dead.

There are also several aspects of this movie that were just goofy. Like the sound effects. There are a couple of sound effects that are really cartoony. And when the screen freezes and turns into a negative when Sadako attacks just seems cheesy.

The final scene with the TV is still really effective though, even if the initial creepiness of it wears off on repeated viewings.

All in all, a really good movie, but not horribly scary in my opinion.

So, did The Ring do it justice?

Recommended Audience: To be honest, there’s not much here. No nudity, sex, swearing, and the violence is minimal with no blood to be found. There is some scary imagery but nothing too bad. 7+
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« Reply #301 on: October 23, 2016, 04:46:21 am »

Speaking of Sadako, have you seen this?
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« Reply #302 on: October 23, 2016, 09:59:33 pm »

Seems more like they're teaming up more than they're fighting each other. Throw Godzilla into the mix and we have a real movie!
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« Reply #303 on: October 29, 2016, 08:30:32 pm »

B-but Godzilla's not a horror monster!
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« Reply #304 on: October 30, 2016, 12:05:58 pm »

Oh really? Tell that to the thousands of people he squishes when he walks. Or the insurance companies who deal with his building destruction. Or that guy over there! THE HORROR! THE PURE UNADULTERATED, THOUGH CHANGING DEPENDING ON THE MOVIE, HORROR!
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« Reply #305 on: October 30, 2016, 11:49:11 pm »

Well, it's Halloween, and I've done just a little more than jack squat for this year's HHH. But don't feel too sad, anyone who could possibly be reading. There is one thing that I am determined to finish before the strike of midnight on Halloween. It's about time we put this bitch to bed.

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« Reply #306 on: October 31, 2016, 09:21:40 am »

Oh nice, I love Stranger Things.
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« Reply #307 on: November 02, 2016, 01:13:40 am »

Halloween Horror House: Paranormal Activity (6): The Ghost Dimension



Rating: 2.5/10

Plot: Set in 2013, Ryan, his wife, Emily, and his daughter, Leila, start a Christmas celebration when Ryna’s brother, Mike, moves in temporarily after breaking up with his girlfriend. Festivities commence until Ryan and Mike find a weird old camera and a box of video tapes supposedly left by the previous owners. They’re quickly frightened when it seems like the camera can pick up entities that other cameras and the human eye can’t. The content of the tapes only increases their worries, and they become beside themselves when Leila starts acting incredibly odd when she reveals her new friend, Toby.

Breakdown: Merry Christmas!

- “Christmas barely has a thing to do with this movie. In fact, I'm almost certain they set it around Christmas for the sake of a one-off thing about the angel falling off the tree. Get it? Fallen angel? Satan. Ah.”

Happy Halloween!

- “You’re a day late....”

Well fudge. :|

Sorry for the delay. Finished the film last night, couldn’t get around to writing up the review until today.

And don’t worry, you didn’t miss much.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is the sixth and final Paraboring Anesthesia movie in the franchise, boasting that this movie is the movie where you get to see the legendary entity of ‘Toby’.

I mentioned at the end of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones that we’d get to see Toby in this installment, and we do. There’s no real buildup for it either; he’s seen throughout a majority of the film.

And what does he look like? Ya know what? I’ll actually save this for later and build up tension. Unlike the movie. Let’s go over the story first.

This movie is actually following a family that has nothing to do with Katie and Kristi’s family...kinda.

See, they’re living in a house that was built on the ruins of Katie and Kristi’s old house which burned down several years ago. Yeah there’s that fire thing again. We never see it or know what caused it, what have you, it was just something they knew they needed to include to tie up that little plot string.

Leila is a new possessed kid who has befriended Toby. She’s connected with Hunter in that they were born on the same day and some prophecy says they need a pair of kids who were born on the same day to get their blood and bring Toby into a corporeal state. That’s the big objective of the witches. Now that would be okay, though it brings up several problems I’ll address later, but what about that army plotline? Did they ever raise that army? Are they going to? What are they doing with it? Take over the worldmauahahahahaha? Is Toby the leader of the army? Guess what? None of these questions are ever answered. We just need Toby in the flesh, we don’t need your petty ‘motivation’

Leila starts acting more and more crazy and withdrawn as she hangs out with Toby. Meanwhile, Ryan and Mike start freaking out over what they’re watching in the tapes and what they’re recording with this old camera.

The tapes are all of the old tapes that made up Paranormal Activity 3, but there’s more. There’s also tapes recording a cult leader training Katie and Kristi, though mostly Katie, on using their Toby-connective powers in order to fulfill their destiny to bring Toby into being. Katie’s role is basically to….I dunno, be the more psychic one? Taking the previous movies into consideration with these new facts leads me to believe Katie was almost completely useless. Why couldn’t Kristi have raised Hunter for this cult? She could see Toby and she was also being trained by the cult.

Not like that matters anyway because this whole first born son BS is…..well, BS. Hunter was needed because he was one of two children born on the same day. They just needed a drop or two of his blood along with Leila’s to bring Toby into being. So either they forgot that whole plotline (And, really, the entirety of The Marked Ones) or, yet again, rewrote it for the sake of ‘well, we’re doing this now. Shut up.’

But then again, who cares? Hunter isn’t even in this movie. Stock footage is briefly used to confirm that he’s with the coven and has time traveled back to 1992 (Time travel is a thing now, guys. Not just in The Marked Ones anymore), but that’s it. They really just wanted to wrap up Hunter’s role in this somehow.

And if Hunter was taken as a baby, why wasn’t Leila? I also thought Hunter was special in being the offspring of Kristi, who was Toby-ized and cult approved. Leila is only just now getting the Toby treatment, and neither of her parents were connected with this cult nor are they related to Katie or Kristi. Were the cult people just like ‘well, we now have Hunter after we went through all of this crap to get him, Tobify him and train him under Katie’s watchful possessed eye. We have everything we need no—Aw hell! It was TWO kids?! Son of a ****. Someone track down the other kid and have her meet up with Toby! Maybe it won’t matter!’ And, really, there have to be tons of kids born on that day, why single out Leila?

Before we get into the more plot, let’s talk about the gimmick briefly. The other films have somehow integrated other tech to show or communicate with Toby in a different way than just filming it straight out, like the webcams of 2, the oscillating fan thing from 3, the Kinect thing from 4 or the Simon thing from The Marked Ones. This one obviously has this new ghost-seeing camera. Even though it should be kept in mind that Toby is not a ghost, he’s a demonic entity/possibly a god thing? Which also makes our title kinda stupid.

Someone altered Dennis’ (Katie and Kristi’s dad) camera to be able to see spirits/demons. It makes the video quality even crappier and gives off light trails when looking at light sources. Hoo rah.

But that means we get to see Toby! Yay! And he looks like--

Ya know, it’s about time we brought that thing about what hooked people into the series from the first place into light again.

Like I mentioned before, while the PA series may not be good….at all….in my eyes, I can understand why people would get a scare from it. The subtlety in the first few movies of there being a presence around you; one that you cannot see yet it can harm you, can be very effective. It’s just the absolute boring of waiting for the damn thing to do even the slightest movements coupled with the consistently nonsensical storylines that get me wanting to stab every DVD of it with a shiv.

So, obviously, being able to see this unseen threat takes away the horror that even PA fans would feel. Unless, of course, they come up with a really clever and scary design for this thing. They do still have some scenes where Toby is not visible because they only have one of the ghost-seeing cameras, and even the ghost-seeing camera doesn’t pick up on him all the time for some reason, but a huge majority of the Toby scenes have him visible. Kinda blew their load early in that regard. Alright, no more dancing around. What does Toby look like?

Well, okay, a little more dancing around. See, when Ryan and Mike first try out this camera, the first few weird things it picks up are sloshing noises and visuals like being underwater in a murky lake. Supposedly, this is the shifts into the Ghost Dimension, which according to Emily’s sister/friend I forget, the camera is picking up a different plane of existence where displaced energy is contained. I don’t see why we need all this for that. Just call Danny Phantom. I’m sure he’d let you use the Ghost Portal.

There is actually a ‘real’ portal, and the reveal for it is really silly. Leila puts a bunch of marks on her wall in the shape of a doorway and later, at night, a huge hole appears in that spot, creating a massive tunnel. This tunnel is much like the door in The Marked Ones. It allows people who go through it to travel through time and space, but also screws the camera up so you can’t see what’s happening inside of it. I’ll talk about what’s on the other side of this tunnel later.

Alright, really enough dancing around. What does Toby look like? Well, this is his regular form.



This is his face.



And his corporeal form is a naked guy that we never see fully on screen. We just see his legs and his hand.

Yup. Hope that was worth the six-year wait, guys!

Before I go further, you can’t see it in the still, but Toby’s black form moves like liquid. It’s like someone spilled ink into water and then brought it to life. I suppose that’s better than the typical spirit set up, but not much. I mean, think about it. Ghosts usually seem to move in fluid flowy manners….like they’re underwater. Also, because of this, every time that Toby is on screen or his presence is or whatever, there’s a low humming noise like you’d hear underwater. It is insanely annoying, especially when you’re wearing headphones.

Back to how Toby looks, holy crap what a colossal let down. A black watery thing in either a water shape or human-ish form, with a regular skeletal face that is smeared basically. Plus we get this later on when they try to trap Toby.



Nice vampire look, Toby.

Oh and after he’s trapped, they put a sheet over the trap because reasons and his contained form is basically just a big human-like creature with possibly numerous legs and doesn’t possess the ability to remove said sheet.



Riveting.

I knew that Toby would be disappointing in design, but they didn’t even try.

And yes, they succeed in giving Toby a human form. Why they need him to have a human form when he seems to do just fine as Liquid Toby is beyond me. He doesn’t get anymore powerful. In fact, he seems to get a huge debuff. Before, Toby could kill people with no problem and move incredibly quickly. He had like huge clawed tentacle things that could burst through people and he could possess people to throw up acid blood (the most interesting scene in this movie). Now he’s human and needs to walk everywhere and strangle people with his bare hands. He shows really no feats of demonic or supernatural powers after he’s human, which also makes this somewhat anti-climactic.

Oh yes, the ending. So the movie’s finale has the group trying to trap Toby with a priest’s assistance. He seems to be successful, but Toby won’t have that. He’s briefly kinda trapped but then just starts killing everyone. The priest, Mike, Skylar and Ryan all fall like dominoes and only Emily and Leila are left behind. However, Leila opens the tunnel again and goes through it. Emily, seeing the door through the camera, also goes through. After cutting to black, we see we’re back in Katie and Kristi’s old room back in 1992.

Apparently the coven, Katie and Hunter are all meeting here to do the ritual to bring Toby to life. Not that we see any of them of course, because why bring back those actors and complete the story when you can….ya know...not? To be fair, they do bring back the child actors of Katie and Kristi, but that’s it.

We don’t see any of the massive coven that we saw in The Marked Ones either because extras are expensive.

All we get in a final confrontation with anyone in this cult is some little possessed girl that I do not recognize. Another possessed girl is behind her, and I don’t recognize her either. If they are Katie and Kristi, I couldn’t recognize them at all. They didn’t really look like they did in the footage.

Anyway, she finally finds Leila and is horrified to find that they already completed the ritual by cutting Leila’s hand (and off-screen-he’s-totally-there Hunter’s hand) for her blood. Toby walks on screen without showing anything above the thighs because he’s swinging his sausage in the wind. He strangles or breaks the neck of Emily and walks off hand in hand with Leila, the end….of the world I suppose.

As a treat, this is the alternate ending.

Quote
In this film the same ending begins as Leila turns back to normal. Four months later the family begins to move to another house which contains all the boxes in the truck; Ryan drops a box and finds a VHS tape regarding young Katie and Kristi, but then decides to destroy the evidence to avoid sending back the demon to their residence. To another shock, Emily turns to find Leila with younger Katie and Kristi holding hands as she states: "Look mommy, my friends are here!". The next scene shows a pregnant Emily lighting a birthday cake, which turns out to be set at Leila's birthday party and that she wishes for a baby brother. The man from the home ritual videos then appears, picks up Leila and wishes her a happy birthday. The screenshots then cuts to black as the film ends.

I can see why they didn’t show that one. The one they showed was just lame, this one is stupid and makes no sense. What is the baby supposed to be? Toby? Did she get impregnated by the cult leader? Why is she going along with this so well? Is she possessed now too?

One final thing I have to mention. Why does Toby kill people anyway? They state in several films, this one included, that Toby feeds on fear. He gets stronger the more attention you give him. Which just continues to make me wonder why he keeps doing benign shit at night...But why kill people? They’re his food/power source. That’d be like me enjoying a tasty beef stew and after a bowl or two I’d decide to dump rancid cat feces in the pot. Why would you destroy your food source?

Bottomline: I will give them props. They gave it a shot to tie up the loose ends and conclude the series full out….but their efforts were half-assed and continue the enraging trend of ‘we started this plot line but let’s completely change it in the next movie or forget it exists’. There are still a ton of things left in the air from previous movies, and we still don’t even know the real intentions of the coven. So they maybe raise an army. So they bring Toby to life…..And? What are they going to do now?

This is 20 years of planning and they just don’t tell us what’s going to happen.

The family here is fine in regards to their personalities, and they mercifully fast-forwarded through much of the stagnant recording shots to keep the pacing up. However, this is just slightly more coherent than usual and their somewhat-ish kinda coherency is marred by insanely predictable jump scares (I think I beat my personal record for jump scare predictions in this movie) atmosphere that has lost its mystique due to visible Toby, silly designs and sometimes laughable CGI. It’s a pretty pitiful ending to a pretty pitiful series.

Oh and I forgot to mention; the Bloody Mary thing, they do it again this time with Leila. Also, she's saying thewords backwards because...possession? Why the hell is the Bloody Mary game a legit thing in this franchise now? I know it's based on a myth, but it's devolved into a girls' sleepover game. It's just plain silly to do it now.

Well, maybe I can finally move on from the Once-a-Halloween movie franchises for a while. It’ll be nice to search out some new--

“During February, 2016, Lionsgate confirmed it had hired screenwriters Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger to write an eighth installment in the franchise, which has been tentatively titled Saw: Legacy with Peter and Michael Spierig directing and filming will start in September 2016 for an October 27, 2017 release date. According to Clouser, Legacy is a re-invention of the franchise that will "establish a new story line and new characters that can carry the saga into the future.””

…...Hm….*sigh* Happy (late) Halloween, everyone.

Recommended Audience: Back breaking (stock footage from 3), acid blood vomit death, someone gets skewered with a clawed tentacle thing and someone gets their neck broken/choked to death. 10+
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« Reply #308 on: November 02, 2016, 07:05:22 am »

Quote
“During February, 2016, Lionsgate confirmed it had hired screenwriters Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger to write an eighth installment in the franchise, which has been tentatively titled Saw: Legacy with Peter and Michael Spierig directing and filming will start in September 2016 for an October 27, 2017 release date. According to Clouser, Legacy is a re-invention of the franchise that will "establish a new story line and new characters that can carry the saga into the future.””

This is the true horror.
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« Reply #309 on: May 03, 2019, 12:45:21 am »

Jigsaw (2017) Review

(Sorry for the giant pictures. It'd be a massive pain in the ass to go back and change the sizes)



Plot: Over ten years have passed since John Kramer’s death. The Jigsaw murders, even by his apprentices, have ended long ago. Things are awfully quiet until horribly mutilated murder victims start appearing across town with jigsaw puzzle pieces cut out of their skin. Probably more copycats or apprentices, they think. Until, that is, law enforcement discovers an audio file in one of the corpses that matches John Kramer’s voice exactly, and blood under the fingernails of one of the victims matches Jigsaw’s.

Is Jigsaw somehow still alive? Are the games starting again? Will anyone be left alive this time? Or is it game over?

Breakdown: Ah, Saw. You wonderful mess of a franchise, you. I love you, I do. Even in spite of your hilariously terrible flaws, I still love you.

When you ended eight years ago, I was sad but I was also relieved because ‘treading water’ doesn’t even begin to describe the franchise after Jigsaw died. But boy did you love revisiting your own continuity.

In a world where horror movies tend to want to ignore their own continuity and only give it a brief nod every now and again, the fact that you acknowledged and viciously mutilated your own timeline again and again and again and again and again and again flip-flopped between sad and hilarious with some very clever moments peppered in there was both a breath of fresh air and exhausting. It got to the point where you had to know the most minute details of previous Saw movies to even understand what some plot points were talking about.

When I first heard of this movie, then titled Saw: Legacy, I was…..okay with it. I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I wasn’t really dreading it. When Jigsaw’s trailer dropped, I was more on the ‘dreading it’ side.

When I finally sat down and watched it, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s actually one of the stronger entries in the franchise for 95% of it.

That final 5% is the plot twist. This is Saw, afterall. We are nothing without our big twist.

But let’s save that for a little later because, dear god, I have….so much...so…..much to talk about there.

The movie is setup much like Saw II or Saw V where we have a game going on with a group of people running alongside the plotline of the detectives investigating it. Only this time the focus is more on the medical examiners for some reason. They’re being closely investigated by the detectives because….I dunno. One of them, Eleanor, is very understandably being investigated, I suppose, because she makes it no secret that she’s a Jigsaw enthusiast. The extent of her fandom is something we’ll explore later. Let’s just leave it at her being a major red herring.

The other one, Logan, is being investigated…..for really no reason. One of the detectives, Haloran, just seems like he hates him or something.

The movie actually captivated me for a good portion of it. I was invested in some of the characters, the mystery behind the culprit’s identity was gripping me, even if, like I said, Eleanor was a bit too big of a red herring, and I was super interested in how they’d explain John legit being alive during the main game. He’s there, in the flesh, Jigsawing people. And, damn, it is nice seeing Tobin Bell in the role again.

The games were a bit stupid, especially one trap, but I suppose no more than usual.

The first game was Edgar Munsen’s test, and it’s the one that makes the most sense, even if it doesn’t seem to pose much of a risk to him if he just found the trigger and hid or something. Saw is a series which relies heavily on convenience.



The trap involved him being directed to the location of a trigger that he needed to find and press at a certain time, otherwise Jigsaw would kill him. The trigger started the game, called The Murderers’ Trial, for a group of people. However, his rush to get to the trigger in time caught the attention of the cops, who shot him, believing the trigger to be something dangerous. He lived, but remained in a drug-induced coma.

The second game is called Bucket Room. Five people, Anna, Mitch, Ryan, Carly and an unnamed fifth party, all wake up in a room in the middle of a farm with buckets on their heads, steel collars and chains attached to a wall of buzzsaws. Jigsaw informs them that they must sacrifice blood, no matter how little, to stop the chains, unlock the doors and free them from their buckets. Failure to give blood resulted in the chain going taut against the wall, pulling them into the blades and killing them.

I don’t really get the risk here. He said the amount of blood didn’t matter, so they literally could’ve just cut their fingers and gotten away. However, all of them get badly wounded as a result. Most of them earned arm wounds, but Carly accidentally got pulled into the blades for a bit, cutting up her back. One of the participants didn’t wake up in time, so they didn’t even get a chance to partake in the test. They ended up getting pulled into the blades right as they were waking up.



The third game, called Chain Hangars, had the group being pulled by their chains again into a set of pulleys. The only way they could stop it is by picking up a tape player they could barely see, especially if the person on the far left didn’t survive the first trap. Good job.

That’s only the first part, though. The second part was Carly’s trial. She was a thief who stole a woman’s purse. The woman pursued her, had an asthma attack and collapsed. In her purse was her inhaler, which Carly didn’t return to her because she didn’t want to get caught. The woman died shortly afterward.

Jigsaw presents her with three syringes. One has the antidote to a poison coursing through her body, another has a saline solution and the final one has a horribly caustic acid. Each syringe has numbers written on them, and she has to figure out which one has the antidote and inject herself with it, otherwise all of them will be pulled up by their chains and subsequently hanged.



Carly instantly recognizes the significance of one of the numbers, 3.53. That is the amount of money she got from the woman’s purse – how much a life is worth to her.

Despite this, she refuses to try any of the syringes. Ryan ends up just stabbing her with all three, releasing them but killing Carly in the process.

So, class, would anyone care to tell me how they could’ve easily gotten out of this trap?

It’s acid. Friggin’ acid. Just take a few drops from each syringe and put it on a piece of paper or your clothes or something. Whichever one burns a hole into the material is probably the acid. Then you can just inject yourself with the remaining two syringes.

They move on to the next room, which has a door clearly labeled ‘No Exit.’ Ryan, ever so smart, believes this is the only way out so he grabs a shovel and tries to have at the door only to discover, surprise, it’s booby trapped. This acts as Ryan’s trial, but we later find out that it wasn’t. It was merely a punishment game for trying to exit out the door. However, activating this booby trap was the only way to proceed in the game, so I dunno.

Ryan’s leg falls through the floor, ensnaring it in a web of wires. The wires tighten around his leg to the point of drawing blood. Any touch of the wires causes them to tighten even further, threatening to cut his leg off. They grab a nearby tape player, which opens a door to a silo. Mitch and Anna go into the silo and discover the TV monitor on the wall and a remote hanging from the ceiling. Mitch gives Anna a boost to grab it, but when they do, the door shuts tight behind them.

The game begins. Ryan is tasked with pulling a nearby lever to free the two from the silo. If he doesn’t, not only will be he trapped forever, but Anna and Mitch will be buried alive in grain. Once the grain reaches a certain point, it stops and sawblades, knives and pitchforks rain down, because drowning in grain isn’t a Saw-y enough fate.



Ryan does pull the lever and, surprise, it slices his foot off, but it also frees Anna and Mitch.

Later, a tractor inexplicably turns on, directing them to the next tape player, meant for Mitch. When he turns it on, he’s snared in a loop trap and pulled to the ceiling. A tarp is pulled, revealing the Cycle Trap.

Mitch knowingly sold a motorcycle with faulty brakes to a young man. When he tried to drive away, his brakes failed and he was t-boned by a truck, killing him instantly. That young man is revealed to have been John’s nephew.

The Cycle Trap, fittingly enough, works on that same motorcycle, only, as John puts it, the brakes on this one actually work. The motorcycle is fitted at the top of a giant metal cone with strips of blades spiraled inside of it. At the bottom is the handle of the motorcycle. All he has to do is pull the brake and the motorcycle will stop.

I don’t really understand how this game works in regards to what he’s sacrificing to win. He literally just has to be perfectly still, reach down and grab a motorcycle brake. As long as he doesn’t flail about, he’ll get away unscathed as far as I can tell.



Anna tries to save him by sticking a piece of metal in the spokes, which works for a minute, but eventually fails. Mitch panics and gets himself sliced up in the blades, leaving him as a spiral ham of a person.

Forced to go off on her own since Ryan can’t walk, Anna tries the ‘No Exit’ door again. I won’t ding her for stupidity here, because the booby trap had already been triggered, but still, why risk it? She actually nearly manages to get away, but a person in a pig mask knocks her out.

Ryan and Anna both wake up in another part of the farm. The person in the pig mask is revealed to be John Kramer. Yay! He’s alive and….well, not well, but alive. He explains that Anna used to be his neighbor. She was very kind to him during his chemotherapy, but had a horrible relationship with her otherwise very kind husband.

She couldn’t stand the wails of her baby, so she smothered him while her husband was sleeping. In an effort to keep the blame off of her, she put the baby’s corpse on the bed with her husband and, I guess, expected him to roll over onto the baby at some point. Then she called the cops. He was charged with the baby’s death and subsequently killed himself in a mental hospital.



John also reveals Ryan’s past. Overall, he’s basically an ****. He’s a cheater, drug dealer, doesn’t pay his taxes etc. but the real reason he’s there is because he was a rowdy idiot as a teenager. He stood up in a car as he was drunk with his buddies one night. He accidentally fell out of the car, and, distracted by Ryan’s actions, the driver careened into another car. Both cars exploded because movie and everyone in the vehicle died.

Ryan put all of the blame on his friend, the driver, never owning up to the deaths himself.

John gives them one last game. He puts a shotgun between the two of them and shows them one shotgun shell. He tells them that they have to learn that they’ve been doing everything backwards, but he’s giving them an opportunity to turn it around. John explains that the shell is the key to their freedom. He leaves the room, and both of them come to the realization that he wants one of them to shoot the other. Anna barely hesitates before grabbing the gun and shooting. However, it backfires into her face, killing her almost instantly.

Ryan crawls over to her when he sees something green in the pieces of the gun. It’s a mangled key. The green color matches the green lock on Anna’s ankle shackle. He’s devastated when he finds a piece of yellow metal in the same spot, matching the yellow color of the lock on his shackle. John had loaded the shotgun shell with the keys. He was being literal when he said that the shell was the key to their survival, but they were thinking ‘backwards’ again.

Ryan is left chained to the floor. With no way to escape, he dies of dehydration or blood loss.



Now that that part is done, we can get to the meat of this movie – the plot with the detectives and medical examiners and the plot twist.

Most of it is standard with the one exception being Ms. Red Herring. Like I said, the detectives start digging into the medical examiners for really no reason. They do humor the idea that John might actually be alive and has returned to killing, even going so far as to exhume his body to prove to the media that Jigsaw’s dead and gone. However, the first player, Edgar, having been kidnapped from the hospital and murdered, is placed in the coffin instead and John’s body is mysteriously missing.

Since they don’t want to think about a possible zombie Jigsaw killing people, as awesome of a concept as though it might be, they direct their attention to the medical examiners, but mostly Eleanor. She shows interest in the Jigsaw murders, but it was one of the most high-profile crime sprees in history, and she’s a medical examiner so of course she’s interested in serial killers and death.

Little did we know how deep her interest went. They think they have her pinned when they discover that she frequents a Jigsaw fansite (called Jigsawrules.com…..I would think that’s lamer, but I believe they’re referencing rules as in the rules of the game.) but it runs much deeper than that. She’s damn near pathological. She knows everything about the Jigsaw cases and John Kramer.

She later brings Logan to her ‘studio’ and reveals that she has a freaky-ass hobby in meticulously recreating Jigsaw traps, including building the first trap John supposedly ever designed, though seemingly never officially built, which turns out to be the Cycle Trap.



One of the detectives, Hunt, followed them to her studio, took pictures of them there and was using it to build a case against them.

In an effort to clear her name, she brings Logan to the farm where she believes the game is currently being played. (The corpses of each failed player have been dumped in public locations all over town to notify law enforcement that Jigsaw is seemingly back.)

The farm was owned by Jill Tuck, John’s wife, and, despite her being dead for nearly a decade, the land is still in her name. When they arrive, they do indeed find the Bucket Room, covered in blood with buckets on the floor, the hanging chains and collars from Chain Hangars and the remarkably clean Cycle Trap.

Detective Haloran ambushes them after following them to the farm. They believe Haloran is the killer, which is supported by previous evidence of Haloran’s gun supposedly shooting the bullet that hit Munsen in the chest when he wasn’t meant to be aiming to kill, and the jigsaw puzzle pieces of skin in his freezer that the cops find when the three are at the farm.

Eleanor manages to get away, Haloran knocks out Logan, but a mysterious figure stabs him with a syringe, knocking him out as well. Logan and Haloran wake up in collars that are fitted in a similar fashion to the shotgun collar from Saw III, only instead of shotgun shells they’re fitted with surgical-grade laser cutters.



They’re both informed via loudspeaker that they have a limited amount of time to confess their sins. If they don’t, the laser cutters will slice through their heads like they weren’t even there. Before them are two buttons. If they choose to not press any buttons, the game for both of them will start at the same time. If they press their own button, they opt to go first.

Logan tries to convince Haloran to not touch any buttons, but Haloran claims he’ll volunteer to go first. However, he quickly taps Logan’s button instead, starting his game.

Before I continue, I should mention that John had talked to Ryan and Anna about his cancer diagnosis and how an resident at the hospital made a mistake in mixing up his x-rays with another patient, meaning his diagnosis was set back by however long. He could have had a better chance at survival had that mistake not occurred.

That resident in question was Logan. However, it seems like it didn’t matter that he confessed as the lasers ended up killing him anyway.

Now it’s Haloran’s turn. He admits that he took bribes and falsified evidence and that innocent people died because of him. This time, the confession seems to take and the lasers shut off. However, Haloran notices that while his lasers started heavily burning the ceiling, Logan’s did not.

Time for the twist!

Drum roll, please!



Jigsaw’s apprentice was Logan.

His laser collar had extremely weak lasers on it, and it was outfitted with blood packs to make it seem like he was killed when he wasn’t.

So what has been going on this whole time?

*deep gasp*

The group game we’ve been watching is actually the first game John ever made, hence the Cycle Trap and why none of the players thought to suggest the high-profile killer, Jigsaw, had kidnapped them when they realized they were in a trap room.

We’ve been watching a flashback from 10+ years ago this whole time even though Tobin Bell looks much older than he did in Saw 1, and he somehow and for some reason outfitted parts of the trap rooms with HD flatscreen TVs that shouldn’t have existed back then.

Logan was the fifth participant in that game, the one who seemingly died by being cut up by the buzzsaws. Jigsaw had a change of heart and saved him from the trap after his back was cut up by it, believing he didn’t deserve to die for an honest mistake.

A medic of the war in Iraq and a survivor of intense torture as a POW, Logan received guidance and mentorship under John and was his legit, for real this time first apprentice, before Amanda, before Gordon and before Hoffman, despite the fact that he’s never been seen in the franchise up to this point and none of the other apprentices ever spoke of him.

He even helped design the Reverse Bear Trap because we love that thing and can’t not bring it up in nearly every movie.

“But DT,” you cry, “they’ve been finding identical bodies to the victims of the group game this entire time! How is this possible?”

Logan had been recreating the first game by killing criminals Haloran had, I guess, illegally or unethically got off, such as Edgar Munsen. Edgar was a dangerous criminal but also Haloran’s CI, so he got him released. After he was released, he killed Logan’s wife, Christine, and he blames Haloran for her death.



It should be mentioned that none of the present-day victims they found had been identified, and the first game victims all, conveniently, died in manners in which their faces were removed (Buckethead had half his head cut off, Carly’s face was melted off, and Mitch’s body was completely shredded) We, as an audience, never heard them call the present-day victims by their names and we couldn’t see their faces so we wouldn’t catch on to the fact that the game wasn’t matching the present events.

And, wouldn’t you know it, the buckets at the beginning really only had the purpose of concealing their identities for no other reason besides keeping Logan’s identity a secret from the audience.

Why is he recreating these murders? I have no goddamn clue.

This first game was never discovered, and the bodies of the victims were never found. He even reveals that he, for some reason, kept the bodies of Anna and Ryan all these years in the barn. So, for all intents and purposes, there’s no reason to recreate this specific game to such ridiculous detail besides to trick the audience into believing these bodies are the game victims.

Speaking of the farm…..how is this a viable location in the slightest? You guys remember in Saw IV where Jill Tuck was intensely investigated to the point of near unethical practices because Strahm and the others were desperate to find Eric Matthews and stop Rigg from playing the game?

They knew all about John’s and her real estate locations yet somehow her owning a massive farm, a fact which is apparently public knowledge, went entirely uninvestigated by police? Really? A prime location for privacy with a bunch of literal death traps just in the farm equipment, that somehow stayed under law enforcement’s radar? Uh. Huh.



It’s not like she sold it before Saw IV either because, as this movie explains, the farm is still under her name even after being dead for ten years.

Jigsaw also continues to be omniscient in this first game. He somehow knew Carly was the purse snatcher, despite not getting caught, how much money she got from the purse and the fact that the inhaler was in the purse, she knew it, looked back and chose not to give it to the woman from which she stole.

He also knew Mitch knew about the faulty brakes on the bike, even though there’s no evidence to prove that or even imply it, and that Ryan was standing up in the car and caused the fatal accident back in the 80s or 90s, even though, again, there was no possible way for him to know that unless he was there.

You could also say the same of Anna. He did hear her yelling at her baby to shut up, but for all he knew, she put the baby by her husband as he slept just to get it out of the room and then her husband smothered him by accident as he slept.

He also knew that Ryan would walk over to the ‘No Exit’ door, not anyone else, and that Mitch would be standing in the exact right spot to loop his feet.

Logan seems to have inherited this trait because he apparently knew Haloran would follow them to the farm. He also knew John’s grave would be exhumed long before they actually did it, and he somehow managed to dig up the grave, take out John’s corpse, put in Edgar’s corpse, and fill the hole back in all without being noticed. Not to mention that they would’ve been suspicious the instant they got to the grave because it would clearly be recently disturbed.

…..What did Logan do with Jigsaw’s body anyway? Why did he go through all that trouble to exhume his body and put Edgar in there? Why even bother trying to frame the real Jigsaw at all besides to tease the audience that he might be alive when that’s physically impossible?

In addition to the grave thing, he also pieced together audio files from John’s old tapes to make new tapes for the cops to find, and inexplicably had a vial of John’s blood on hand to put under the fingernails of one of the victims.



Which just brings us to the bigger question of why do any of this at all? Why try to frame Haloran, sloppily, for new Jigsaw murders? He did a decent job framing him in regards to the bullet, but Hunt is a pretty airtight alibi, even if he even seems to believe he did it.

They’re definitely going to find the farm now, Logan set it up that way, meaning they’ll probably find Haloran’s corpse and then what? They’ll be like ‘Lol why did new!Jigsaw kill himself on one of his own traps? Lolidiot’? At least when Hoffman framed Strahm he disposed of his corpse in several ways.

Why wait ten years to do more Jigsaw traps? I can assume Gordon just decided to leave the Jigsaw life behind so he could be with his family and god knows what the unknown apprentices from Saw 3D have been doing all this time, but if he was so intent on become a fresh new Jigsaw and has been his apprentice from the start, why do nothing Jigsaw related for over ten years then just decide to do this and frame Haloran for it? I don’t know when exactly his wife died, so maybe that’s it, but it still doesn’t make sense to me that the murders would, altogether, stop.

He could’ve easily just kidnapped Haloran, stabbed him with a syringe and put him in the laser collar from the beginning. Everything he did up until this point was such a massive waste of time, energy and resources.

And the only point of it all, in a realistic sense, was to trick the audience into thinking the game they were watching was happening in real time and that Jigsaw was, somehow, still alive and making traps. In essence, the only reason he did this was because we need a movie.



Oh and let’s not forget Eleanor. Logan’s both incredibly lucky and unlucky that she happened into his life. He claims she’s a ‘perfect alibi’ since she’ll vouch for his innocence and point the finger at Haloran, considering he did attack them at the farm, but…..of all the people to have as an alibi….he chose the most psychotic Jigsaw fan ever?

The girl with a Jigsaw trap museum, that she built herself, in her little ‘studio’? The one who has been the main suspect the whole time? The one who lied about her alibi once already to the cops because she was visiting her studio at the time they requested? The one who had one of the new!Jigsaw corpses hanging in her secret Jigsaw shrine within said studio?….That YOU put there?…..For some dumbass reason besides to purposely make her look more guilty when that’s a bad thing for your plan?

Admittedly, this movie didn’t try to mush all the cogs into the same clock by bringing up all of the main players like Amanda, Hoffman, Gordon, Strahm etc. and trying to work them into the story, which would’ve been a goddamn nightmare. Though I was deeply disappointed that Gordon didn’t make a reappearance. It’s attempting to make a fresh start for the series without ignoring previous entries or being a reboot. I can respect that, but I don’t much care for the future of this series if we’re going to be focusing on Logan.



Unlike John, who gave his victims a chance to save themselves through some form of sacrifice, Logan creates games that cannot be won, which, as we all know from Amanda, is a big Jigsaw no-no. He did put the new group of people through the same game John made back then, but he made the games unwinnable so he could use their corpses to stage a new Jigsaw game, kill Haloran and frame him for the murders as vengeance for his wife.

Logan has the same problem Amanda had only much worse. Amanda made unwinnable games, too. She respected John’s legacy, but would kill when she felt she had to or even if she just wanted to. Logan is completely focused on just killing. Haloran even dinged Logan for this, telling him Jigsaw would give his victims a choice to live or die. Logan responds by saying he’s giving Haloran the choice to scream or not.

One of the reasons Jigsaw is a more compelling antagonist and Saw is a fairly interesting franchise is because, yes, USUALLY players are given the choice to live or die if they make the right sacrifice, be it pain, blood, flesh or even emotional anguish. You wonder if the players will win and survive or not as opposed to normal horror movies where you can pretty much guarantee everyone will die. Granted, most people in Saw traps do die, but you have more of an expectation for them than many other horror movies, and you tend to get to know them and root for them more.

I say ‘usually’ because sometimes even John was just unfair and did kill people without giving them a chance to save themselves. Sometimes, one’s life is in the hands of another such as with Chain Hangars, the Grain Silo trap, the Reverse Bear Trap with Amanda, the shotgun collar, the freezer room and the Pig Vat. This isn’t exactly fair because the victim doesn’t get to fight for their own life nor do they prove they cherish their lives – someone else has to save them for them and show they value the lives of others.

These types of traps became more frequent when Hoffman took over like with the Public Execution Trap, the Horsepower Trap, the Shotgun Carousel and, most unfairly because the victim was a completely innocent person, the Brazen Bull. Hell, nearly all of Bobby’s trial from Saw 3D and William Eastman’s trial from Saw VI were traps where the victim’s lives were in the hands of someone else.

Logan, however, is a serial killer using Jigsaw’s identity. He flippantly kills people on the basis of justice and revenge and doesn’t care when he doesn’t give people a chance to save themselves. He doesn’t care about making people appreciate their lives or atoning for their sins – he just wants criminals dead. His end of movie sting isn’t even ‘Game over’ it’s ‘I speak for the dead’ Get it? Because he’s a medical examiner.



That’s not compelling or interesting. Diet Caffeine-free Punisher is not a horror movie plot. We have no suspense now. We know all of the traps will be rigged from here on out, so why bother? I’ve defended Saw from people who call it a torture ****, but if they choose Logan as their new poster boy, it will certainly be nothing but that from now on.

Can I take a minute out to laugh at Logan’s attempt to be menacing at the end? He very clearly tries to make his voice deeper and more gravelly, and all I could think of was him failing an audition to be the new Batman.

Also, the Cycle Trap was really considered Jigsaw’s first trap? Even before the rickety shotgun chair that he used on what we were initially lead to believe was his first victim? Sure.

Bottomline: This movie is certainly not a chore to sit through. In fact, it’s a fairly solid entry in the Saw series, despite the fact that the whole thing is orchestrated as a big prank on the audience. This isn’t the first time they’ve done something like this, but they usually set it up in such a way that the pieces fell together better to explain it, not just making crap up as you go along and then go ‘Oooh you were really watching a decade-old flashback this whole time!’

Despite the ending explanation just blowing the entire movie up and burning practically all hope I have for future installments, I had a good time while it lasted. It was even shot much better than basically all of the Saw movies.

It was really nice to see Tobin Bell back as Jigsaw, and I hope he has at least some part of future Saw movies.

Problem is, now rewatchability is non-existent. Now that I know who’s behind it all and find it to be incredibly stupid, I’d be drastically less interested while trying to rewatch it. In fact, I’d probably just find more timeline issues and plot holes.

A new Saw or Jigsaw movie is supposedly in development as of April 2018, but all that’s been released about it is the fact that it’s being developed. I can’t imagine they’ll try to shoehorn John into the series much more. It’s damn near impossible at this point anyway. All I can hope for is Dr. Gordon showing up again to take down Logan like he took down Hoffman for straying off the path.

Recommended Audience: It’s Saw, what do you think? There’s gore galore, and they definitely try to up the ante when it comes to the more graphic scenes. There’s also some nudity via a female corpse and tons of swearing, but no sex if that’s what’s you’re concerned with for some reason. 18+
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