I do watch the occasional horror movie, but I would never call myself a horror movie fan. In my mind, to be a fan of something you actually have to enjoy it, and my general reaction to horror films is not exactly what I would describe as enjoyment. Why do I continue to watch horror films then? Your guess is as good as mine. I assume that it was curiosity that pulled me back in when I decided to watch Jigsaw. Perhaps it was just a momentary lapse in sanity.
Regardless of how I ended up sitting in the cinema at the preview screening of Jigsaw, surrounded by staff members wearing oh-so-thoughtful and totally appreciated Halloween costumes, I was now stuck with a pressing dilemma: do I force myself to watch this movie and accept that I may have to sacrifice the next few nights of sleep as a result; or do I pretend to watch it and actually stare at the back of the woman’s head in front of me for the entire duration and then give you all a review purely based on sound?
I chose to sacrifice my sleep. For those that were hoping for that outcome, you’re welcome and you’ll be happy to know that I’m actually glad that I put on my big-girl pants and did it. Jigsaw was actually a really damn good film, despite the fact that it left me questioning my own morals.
You see, due to my weak stomach and creative imagination I have been wise enough to avoid blood-and-gore-filled films and have never watched any of the Saw movies in their entirety in the past as a result. Slasher movies like these terrify me so very much more than fantastical horrors with ghosts and witches and the like because I can’t help but think that events in these films could actually play out in reality.
The could-be realistic nature of these horror films has always left me wondering how anyone could watch with full attention (without looking at the floor or hiding behind a blanket as I normally would) and not be left feeling paranoid and physically ill after watching bucket after bucket of fake blood spill.
So, I put myself to the test and I watched Jigsaw in its entirety—without leaving the cinema as I have done in the past—and at the end of it all I realised something: I actually bloody enjoyed that film. The storyline was understandable, despite my lack of knowledge of the Saw franchise, and it was not predictable—there were slight twists that I certainly didn’t see coming.
As for the blood and gore, okay, there was a fair bit of it, and sure, when a dude’s head started to get sliced like a watermelon, I looked away. But this is only because watermelon is my favourite and I don’t want to have flashbacks of blood-lava flowing out from some dudes inside every time I cut into a watermelon.
But you know what was really terrifying—aside from the fact that I actively decided to go and watch people die on a giant screen? I went home afterwards and ate pizza, and I didn’t lose a single wink of sleep. So, now I’m curious, is continuous exposure to this kind of blood and gore in film and television making us, as a society, less humane or am I just an absolutely terrible person for being able to watch this and it having no impact on my appetite whatsoever?
If you too would like to thoroughly enjoy yourself, and then be left worrying about your enjoyment and questioning your own morals, then Jigsaw is the film for you. Morally challenging afterthoughts aside, and even if you’re not a massive horror movie buff, Jigsaw was a great film and it’s totally worth the watch. It’s highly likely that you’ll be able to blame society for your moral dilemma anyway, so you have nothing to worry about.
Jigsaw hits cinemas today.