It's an annual ritual, and not one I enjoy. Lionsgate sends me the latest Saw movie on DVD, and I'm obliged, out of morbid curiosity, to watch it. I know it's going to be bad, I know it's going to be a waste of an hour and a half of my life, and yet I watch it anyway.
To add insult to injury, Saw V, the latest to be released on DVD, is one of the worst of them yet. The infamous killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) died a couple movies back, yet the writers keep managing to find ways to bring him back so Lionsgate can cash in on this lucrative franchise year after year. If there is any franchise that relies more on delivering trash for profit, I am unaware.
The thing is, with Jigsaw dead, there just isn't any point to these movies. Those who read my reviews know that I loathe every one of the Saw movies - even the first one. The original was neat in concept but horribly executed; the rest were just empty shells of that concept. Now, the writers continue to cling to Jigsaw - the only interesting character in the entire franchise - but it's a lost cause. When the main villain can only appear in flashbacks, he is less intimidating or frightening; his replacement has no character development at all, so there is no sense of good vs. evil. Furthermore, the "good" characters this time - i.e. the victims - are less redeemable than in the other pictures, begging the question: why the hell should we care for this people? Lastly, since we all know every single good guy is eventually going to die, any sense of suspense is lost.
For those people merely interested in the gore, Saw V has surprisingly few scenes that could be considered truly gory. Fans of the franchise will be disappointed, though when there are gory moments, they are really gory. A scene near the end, where a couple of the victims have to slice their arms down the middle - lengthwise - is pretty gross.
Still, Saw V is amateurish and pathetic. Director David Hackl doesn't have the skill to make this piece-of-crap movie into anything worthwhile; with the amount of flashbacks and chronological jumps that this movie makes, it takes someone with real skill to pull it off. And if a director had those skills, he or she would not be directing Saw V.
Saw V is silly, boring and pointless. Lionsgate continues to make these movies year after year, and Saw VI is well on its way, but the franchise ran out of juice long ago. When will audiences realize this and stop cashing in on this decaying cow?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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