By Catholic News Service
With its franchise’s shock value long since played out, this eighth “Saw” outing, yet another exercise in butchery, accompanied by siren-wail screaming, quickly descends into self-parody. The five trapped victims here, as always in this series, face gross-out hacking in a series of claustrophobic enclosures. Adding to their torment, a marionette, voiced by the evil Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) on taped messages, tells them that there’s always a way out if they obey his commands. According to his own warped thinking, the killer is operating as an agent of morality, repaying the quintet for their past sins, which typically involved the death of another person.
Having revived their red-eyed villain from the dead — he supposedly met his fate in 2006’s “Saw III” — directing brothers Michael and Peter Spierig give him little to do in his comeback, other than evade the pursuit of the police detective (Callum Keith Rennie) and duo of coroners (Matt Passmore and Hannah Emily Anderson) tracking him.
Pervasive gory violence, gruesome images, including dismembered limbs, frequent crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.