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Saw V Definitely Should Be the Final Piece of A Lame Puzzle

Saw V
Directed by David Hackl
Written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston
Lionsgate, 2008

What an unfortunate turn of events to be a director with the last name Hackl.  In one way, I suppose, it is appropriate in the horror sense, as in hacking someone to pieces and whatnot.  In the context of Saw V, however, it is the derogatory term for incompetent, a hack…although let’s be fair, Mr. Hackl didn’t really have a chance with this material.

Much like they did with Saw IV, Feast writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston are really interested in origins.  Be prepared to have all the previous Saw films in your head while watching this one.  There will be a lot of, “Oh yeah, so this was going on during this scene where I thought there was absolutely nothing else going on nearby.”  It has that Back to the Future sequel feel, where the filmmakers keep piling on unseen events that were not even thought of when the previous films were being made, a sort of “layering” of the story that is supposed to be awesome, I suppose.

This one focuses on a sort of cat-and-mouse game between two detectives.  One, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), is actually an accomplice of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), who, if you didn’t know, had his throat slashed while dying anyway at the end of Saw III.  The other is Jigsaw-obsessed Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson), who has discovered what he believes is the connection, after Hoffman’s sister’s killer, her fiance, is found Jigsawed by a pendulum blade.  Strahm has escaped a trap, and has seen Jigsaw’s dead body, but it isn’t enough.  There’s got to be more to figure out.

Jigsaw’s wife Jill (Betsy Russell) has just received some items through his death: a box containing…stuff.  And meanwhile, yet another group of dumbasses (including: Meagan Good, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Carlo Rota, and Laura Gordon) that rival the dumbasses from Saw II are going through a bunch of killer Jigsaw rooms, once again not listening to his words on how to get out of the situation.  The three stories connect, but I felt like a big “whatever,” by the time this one was finished.

I mildly enjoyed Saw and Saw III, but the other three movies of this series are awful and insulting.  Saw II is still probably the worst, just for the sheer stupidity, but Saw V might get an edge through not only stupidity but one of the most unsatisfying “is that all there is?” endings I’ve ever seen.  At least Saw II had a fairly clever ending (the only thing good about that movie).  For all the speechifying from Jigsaw about how his work is righteous and how he “hasn’t really killed anyone, because he’s giving them a chance,” the ending of this movie is tone deaf.  Even if that is the point, it still sucks.


Comment from KW
Time: October 24, 2008, 2:04 pm

Do you remember when it used to take a horror franchise 15-20 years to pump out five sequels? Me too. 5 Saw movies in 5 years is a bit much. They might as well just call it “Saw 5, We Just Want Your Money, Suckers.”

Oh, and the only people I’ve ever heard speak highly of the Saw movies were teenagers too young to have legally been allowed to see them.

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