From one of the best movies of the year to one of the worst:

Saw: Legacy was so abysmally bad, it really boggles the mind that a studio actually agreed to finance, let alone release this piece of drivel.

With each new sequel turning out worse than the one before it (except maybe the 6th installment), and all of them definitely not living up to the hype created by the original film, the Saw franchise seemed to be dying a slow death in the late 00’s.

That was fine by me – and, I imagine, for most people initially intrigued by the the torture-porn subgenre, who were now willing to finally put it to rest. The painfully awful ‘final chapter’ that was Saw 3D was supposed to be the last we’d see of Jigsaw and his infamous traps; it did a half-assed attempt at tying up loose ends, followed by a very underwhelming ‘big reveal’, but even without delivering a satisfying end to the series, I’m pretty sure no one really wanted the saga to continue. I, for one, definitely didn’t.

Apparently Lionsgate didn’t get the memo, and we got this new pile of crap.

Without getting into specifics, the movie follows the same structure as the rest of the Saw films: mutilated dead bodies start turning up all over town, the police start hunting down clues, while a new Jigsaw game takes place in an undisclosed, secluded location. In this instance, we see five people trying to escape a series of traps, each one making the same mistakes all of John Kramer’s victims have been known to make over the years, resulting in pretty gruesome deaths.

And while most of the Saw movies, for all their faults, usually come up with new and inventive ways to torture the hapless unwilling participants in Jigsaw’s twisted games, this one is pretty low on originality, so it doesn’t even have that going for it.

But wait, it gets worse:

The games are orchestrated by – gasp! – John Kramer himself, who very definitely died about a decade ago. Everyone involved in the case points this out, and yet it’s his voice we hear on the tapes, his face we see in the final scenes.

Meanwhile, suspicion is cast on the people working the case: sleazy detective Halloran, who we are led to assume is a dirty cop, and forensic pathologists Logan and Eleanor. The plot thickens when Eleanor is revealed to have an unhealthy fascination with Jigsaw, and even owns a secret storage space filled with traps she built herself off of Kramer’s designs. Creepy, and in tune with the whole ‘let’s make law enforcement the villain’ theme the Saw movies got going on.

As the investigation moves forward, however, we get the big twist (and I use the term loosely) (oh, and spoiler alert): the game we see unfolding is actually Jigsaw’s first, having taken place before the events of the original movie. Logan was one of the original players, but was saved by Kramer because his ‘sin’ of mixing up John’s scans at the hospital, resulting in his cancer going untreated until it was terminal, was an honest mistake. Kramer then groomed him to continue his legacy after his death, and Logan now uses one of the traps to trick Halloran into confessing his own sins. Except he doesn’t give him the chance to survive the game, as Jigsaw did, and pretty much murders him in what amounts to very substandard use of cgi.

Okay, seriously? What was the deal with Dr. Gordon then? Why were John’s only real accomplices a junkie and two freaking doctors? How does this make any sense, following the events of the last Saw movie? What was the point in making this entire film if all it does is to drop the original story in favor of introducing new characters and plotlines no one cares about?

Ugh. Everything about this was uninteresting, underwhelming, and basically made no sense as a sequel to the original franchise, let alone the movie that was supposed to carry Saw’s “Legacy”. It’s two hours of my life I’m never getting back. Two thumbs down, for sure.

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