Saw V (2008)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Regained some Effectiveness

Let’s just sit back for a while and discuss what makes Saw a series that people kept going to see year after year. Was it the gore? At least half of the reason people went to see these movies was for the gore, or more specifically, for the morbid curiosity towards the creativity put into the death traps. I think the real reason people go see this movie is for Tobin Bell’s excellent character. His is among some of the most memorable film villains of all time. He’s got the look, feel, and voice of a scary villain that you don’t want to mess with. But he died in the end of the third film didn’t he? To answer that, let’s head into Saw V!

So the thing we learned in the twist ending of the fourth film is that Detective Hoffman was the next assistant, and eventual successor to Jigsaw’s rule. We also learned the fourth film took place at the same time as the third, just with different players. Now Jigsaw really is dead, he just had one more game planned out, and he tasked Hoffman with seeing that game through. The game in question is much like in Saw II with several players in a board game-like setting. Hot on Hoffman’s tail is Agent Strahm, who was the lead detective in the fourth film as well. Will the two main heads in the police department clash well, or will it have a violent…bloody finale?

I really liked the “players” side of the story this time around. It reminded me of when the series had its best idea, and that was with several players. I liked the traps as well. However, most of the film wasn’t the game portion as much as it was the Jigsaw history part. This was very heavy on Jigsaw history, and how he and Hoffman came into contact. Honestly, the entire movie operated as a really long twist ending. What I mean by that is that Saw V connected all five films together semi-seamlessly. There were some discrepancies when Amanda is involved, but overall, it was really cool to see them setting up, yet again, more traps that we have seen in the past.

When it comes down to the players side, it was a very cool set up, but I’m telling you right now that out of the whole series, you’re not going to care about these characters at all, and I’ll tell you why. Like the other films, the players have some kind of hidden connection to each other…that’s a given. I won’t tell you what the connection was, but just believe me when I say it was dumb. It was one of the most boring and purposeless connections I have ever seen on the series. Fortunately, the traps drowned that out a bit.

Memorable traps this time were the traps that I like to call: “The Decapitator”, “Hand Splits”, and most notably “The Pit and the Pendulum”. The Pendulum trap was taken directly from the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and it’s probably the most memorable trap out of the whole film. Even though I liked the traps overall, I think I liked the message Jigsaw was trying to tell these people, about how not to think one way, but the opposite. How that all comes together is actually pretty cool, and something you don’t think about until the end.

Very soon, this movie series will have met the “grasping at straws” territory, and a lot of people will tell you it met that long ago. Those people, however, had already prejudged the series before watching it (I’m guessing). You really have to give it a chance, remain open-minded, try to step into the footsteps of the target audience, to understand the reeling effect. I don’t think anyone would disagree that the series goes too far, but what it does, is tries its hardest to remain believable as a collective series, and you got to give that credit.

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