It was a great idea that they ran into the ground. Also, there is an assumption on my part–and it is correct 9 out of 10 times–that if a movie, a sequel, is rushed through production and releases one year after its predecessor, it can’t really be any good. And if this trend continues for the better part of a decade, I expect diminishing returns. I naturally expect the series to weaken with each new addition, ala the HOWLING franchise. (Even though they couldn’t possibly outdo themselves in terms of awfulness after the third one.) For these reasons, I gave up on the SAW franchise after the second one. Funny thing, though. Give something enough time and the stale becomes interesting again. I didn’t get a chance to check out JIGSAW in the theater, but I wish I had. I watched it last night and was pleasantly surprised. It’s good. It’s really good.

The acting slipped into the melodramatic a couple of times, but these were slight glitches and couldn’t capsize an otherwise outstanding effort. The story is tight. And of course the traps are ingenious, providing plenty of bloody practical effects. With the reboot they provided, I’d love to see the SAW franchise continue. Just not by cranking out one overheated sequel a year. Take your time and do it, right, I say.