Jigsaw (no, not that one) is a 2002 straight to video horror written and directed by the duo of Don Adams and Harry James Picardi. A no budget horror that looks as cheap as it feels but thanks to a short run-time keeps things fairly entertaining.
Art lecturer Colin (Barret Walz) has a premise for his student’s final exam. He will give each one a part of a mannequin and they can decorate it anyway they like. A week later they will assemble the entire thing thus creating a ‘jigsaw’.
Five students, five parts of a mannequin. A week later they meet at Sneaky Petes to have some drinks and explain just why they decorated their piece the way they did.
The males of the group have little to no development but the females offer explanations involving childhood abuse, suicide pacts and more. It’s unexpected character depth in a movie that really shouldn’t have had any considering its budget. Props to the actresses too who sell their painful pasts well in particular Aimee Bravo who plays Tawny.
Anyway, as the night progresses the group get drunker and drunker as they prepare to burn their effigy on a bonfire. Before they can accomplish that though, Jigsaw comes to life and sets about killing the group off one by one.
How does he come to life? The movie doesn’t offer any kind of explanation about that. One minute he’s just a messed up looking dummy, the next he is hunting down the cast.
Why? Well, Colin offers some vague explanation about it wanting body parts from its victims but we never actually see why. That’s disappointing and while it could be put down to budget constraints, the film isn’t shy with the gore. Decent looking gore too, it must be said.
As things get more desperate character loyalties are tested revealing one to be a bit of a villain. Happily that person gets their comeuppance and then the film just ends. So abruptly that if you’re not paying complete attention you’ll miss the final scenes!
It’s not a complaint though because any longer and Jigsaw would start to overstay its welcome. At a little over an hour, everything is kept tight and concise. Characters introduced, characters expanded upon, villain introduced, characters killed off and the film ends.
The biggest flaw within Jigsaw is the mannequin itself which looks frankly terrible. Like a really rubbish version of the Borg from Star Trek. Still, for what it is, it’s entertaining.
The Final Score - 6/10