Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Saw VI


Review by Patrick Hodges

Oh yes, there will be sequels.

First of all, bravo to the entire Saw franchise and the people behind it for creating a substantive, interesting series with a wickedly cool premise, a memorable villain, and an unending plethora of twisted self-mutilation devices.  It because of these qualities that I have stuck with this series, through thick and thin, defending it against nay-sayers who remain steadfastly confident that the series jumped the shark several installments ago.  God knows it’s held my interest far longer than any other “horror” series has.

Unlike the Harry Potter series, for example, which can’t really be considered “sequels” because they were all adapted from previous literary works, the Saw series has sustatined only because it’s been able to hold its core audience’s attention.  However, looking at the box office numbers, which a testament to the Law Diminishing Returns, it would appear that that attention is waning, and I can see why.

If the series had stuck to merely sinners being given a chance to atone for their sins, it may have gone on indefinitely.  But the vendetta that John Kramer aka Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his successor, Det. Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) has been implementing against pretty much everyone in Kramer’s life who ever wronged him – criminals, doctors, lawyers, real estate people, etc. – has reached a tipping point, and it is time for this story to wind down.

This time, the testees are, for the most part, the higher-ups in a medical insurance company, who are, in Jigsaw’s opinion, guilty of callousness in deciding who and who dies (by either approving or denying their coverage).  The main testee this time is the company’s CEO, William (Peter Outerbridge), who must undergo a series of tests that… ah, you can probably guess.  Meanwhile, Hoffman, the man who has taken over Jigsaw’s grisly work, must try to scramble to finish Kramer’s legacy while the authorities are closing in.

Though Saw IV does answer a few unanswered questions and expand the story through flashbacks, most of this movie is same old, same old for the Saw series; in other words, gore, gore, gore.  (And, without spoiling anything, Hoffman finds out that he’s not the only one pulling strings…)

With Paranormal Activity, against all odds, sucking the audience almost completely away from this film, it seems that public indifference to this franchise is now at a high.  It seems that it will struggle just to break even.  But the story isn’t quite done yet.  My advice to the powers that be?  Do one more.  Finish the series in spectacular fashion, and end the series the way it should be.  Don’t drag it out any more.

3 / 5 stars

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