The Saw franchise enters its fifth instalment, and with the demise of serial non-killer Jigsaw in the last movie, things weren’t looking too sharp for number five. Could Saw live on after the demise of it’s own evil genius? Who would continue setting the traps to force morality on the scum of the earth? To answer those questions would be to spoil the whole movie, but lets just say that despite my reservations that Saw had run its course, number five had me had me entranced in its electrifying grip for it’s entire run time.
That’s not to say it was all-good however.
What set’s the Saw franchise apart from all the other contenders in the torture-porn franchise – other than the total lack of gratuitous nudity – was the ingenuity of the devices and how the plot worked to bring together a story that always kept you guessing. This was the priority above all else, gore, whilst still present in bucket loads took second place to telling the story.
In Saw V there are two distinct scenes where discretion would have been better than gratuitous gore. I know what you’re thinking, people watch these movies for the gore, the gratuitous blood and guts. But I don’t think that’s the motivating factor for Saw fans, at least not for me. When the focus is too much on the blood and guts it becomes a distraction and something that stays with you when the movie itself – the details of the story – is what you really want to come away with.
These two scenes – you’ll know what they are if you’ve seen the movie – would have been better handled by letting our imagination tell us what happened rather than bashing the viewer over the head with graphic images. It’s a pity really because Saw V could have been the best of the series if it weren’t for the overkill. And to be honest, because of this, and the outcome of the movie, this will most likely be my last Saw.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Rating: R18 – Torture & Sadistic Violence
Released on: March 25th, 2009
Year of Original Release: 2008
Stars: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon, Joris Jarsky, Mike Butters, Mike Realba, Lyriq Bent
Length (Minutes): 92
Media Format: DVD
Director: Hackl, David
Studio: Sony Pictures