‘Saw V’ Tries to Get Things Right… Again

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2008 at 4:52 am

page6sawIt’s Halloween again, and to many of us that means trick-or-treating (for those of you channeling to your inner child), candy corn, and of course, the newest Saw. Some think the Saw series has become redundant, which can be argued of any film series that has extended further than three. Some say the first and original Saw was, undoubtedly, the best and nothing could ever compare. Although that is hard to argue, it is also true that the latter films in the series, including this brand new addition, are becoming progressively more ‘creative’. With each Halloween, Saw’s plot thickens with more complex storylines, although they all seem to run along the same tired, bloody vein as the first. It seems almost as though the Saw series has lost its former glory and film writers are trying too hard to recapture the hit that was the first.

People are drawn to movies like Saw for the intense shock value, but this fifth movie might be considered slightly less of a ‘gore fest’. That is not to say, however, that many scenes are better watched through the cracks of your fingers or under a blanket. However, the third and fourth film focused more on excessive gore, while the newest went back to its storyline roots and into the personal life of the now deceased Jigsaw.

Saw V picks up where the fourth left off. Jigsaw’s new “apprentice” has taken on his role after he died; basically mirroring exactly what had happened in previous Saws. When his secret identity is threatened, the new Jigsaw must go on a hunt to eliminate all loose ends. He learns how to carry on his mentor’s ingenious and careful work through one-on-one lessons and, later, through a series of confusing flashbacks. This, of course, is all painfully predictable. It seems as though all the suspense that made Saw such a thriller years ago has been stretched to the limit. The most (and perhaps only) suspenseful aspect of the film was following Jigsaw’s student’s new game, in which he traps five people in a room that are all somehow connected. All five must work together to survive and learn what holds them all together through a series of gruesome traps. This part of the storyline is intriguing only because there is no way to know who is going to die, and what is the missing puzzle piece to hold the five seemingly different people together.

The movie lost its momentum when it ran back and forth erratically between present day and flashbacks in a very confusing, zig-zag fashion. Because we have seen these “games” before, the film itself seemed flat and unfolded at a snail’s pace until the anti-climactic ending that leaves you wondering if the anticipation of next year’s Halloween is worth it. The Saw films have always been known for their “twist endings”, but when they use the same cliffhangers in each film, it tends to become repetitive.

Many will argue that the Saw movies are less “horror movies” and more thrillers with tons of unnecessary, mindless, sick and twisted gore. However, it is hard to find a horror movie these days that does not strive for the same shock value and uncensored violence that only nightmares are made of. It is true that Saw has been  revolutionary to the entire horror genre and deserves credit for its ingenious originality. It has spawned many wannabee Saws and thus changed the history of horror movies forever. You can only milk it for so long, however, before people become bored with the same predictable storyline.

Saw V does not earn five stars, but maybe three. It was mediocre at best, but is still a good Halloween flick. It’s downfall was not standing out as unique from any Saw before it, and although the suspense is still going to make you bite your nails, it’s not quite what it used to be. There was nothing shocking about the fifth addition to this series if you have seen the first four, or even just one of them. This series has come down to the sad fact that if you’ve seen one,  you have seen them all.


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