After seven consecutive Octobers of "Saw" movies, the smash series begun by James Wan in 2004 seemed to have gasped its last blood-choked breath with 2010's "Saw VII." Faced with an exhausted and contrived storyline, shifting audience tastes, and still-profitable but nonetheless diminishing box-office returns, Lionsgate made the wise decision to put a moratorium on the franchise. Seven years later, the idea of reviving John Kramer's (Tobin Bell) morality-based torture games didn't seem quite so tedious now that the marketplace is no longer saturated by this particular subgenre. At worst, the results would be a fruitless drink from an arid well. At best, it might have something deviously clever to offer, the passage of time allowing directors Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (2010's "Daybreakers") and writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg (2010's "Piranha 3D") the chance to devise a story worth telling.
Fortunately, the latter is closer to the finished product's reality. "Jigsaw" doesn't reinvent so much as it manages to expand the lore of what's come before, doing so in a way that feels like a natural extension. Purposefully unpleasant and expertly intense, the film keeps one guessing with a crafty and deceptive script that flips expectations of where the story is headed. When done well, the "Saw" movies came close to perfecting the classic bait-and-switch twist, and this one is as inspired as any installment since 2006's series-best "Saw III."
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review