20 January 2015


Saw V is actually the first Saw film I have sat all the way through. I began watching the first film and someone actually spoiled the ending about a quarter of the way through the film. A friend of my wife’s felt the need to ruin everything and I saw no point in finishing the film. I actually did not care much for what I saw and never watched another until this one, the fifth of the series. Since there seems to be some slight need to watch the previous films to have an idea of what is going on in this one I was a little lost but do not feel compelled to go get the other films to fill in the gaps. In fact I was at one of the DVD stores I frequent here in China and could have picked up the rest of the DVDs for about one dollar each but passed. They even had the new 3D Saw but I did not pick it up and I may at some later point. Probably most people reading this will know more about the series one way or the other if they have watched at least a couple more than I have. 

I was a little confused here because it seems to saying Jigsaw, the mastermind serial killer with a penchant for elaborate torture gizmos, is dead and yet he seems to be alive and well and played by actor Tobin Bell as in previous films. But reviewers are complaining about Bell not being present and doing his nasty stuff. So I wonder am I reading about the same film? What are a couple reviewers complaining about? Can someone clear this up as I am not going to get Saw III and IV to try and make sense of it. Probably one day I will but I am not up to it right now. I am simply not a big fan of this style of horror film. People being tortured slowly is unnerving but the films lack the sort of atmosphere and tension I really prefer in a horror movie to make it something I can recommend, though the franchise hardly needs my recommendation as it is one of the most successful in movie history. 

I have seen other films that are obvious inferior spin offs of this and the Hostel films and have developed a dislike for the whole ‘torture porn’ sub-genre. Director David Hackl –former assistant director and production designer for the previous films directed by Darren Bousman- seems capable enough behind the camera but it is what is going on in front the camera that left me dissatisfied overall. Again Jigsaw (Bell) is supposed to be dead and the acts are being carried out by a cop named Hoffman but Jigsaw is alive and well and pulling all the strings as I assume he did in the previous films. I have issues with how plausible it is that anyone can have access to the cavernously spacious locales used for arranging the tortures that occur. I also do not know how the various apparatuses could be constructed outside some major metal shop. You just cannot just devise some of these machines with a screw driver and blow torch. If they are being contracted out wouldn’t at least one employee become suspicious and report to the police his company is making machine similar to the ones being reported in the Jigsaw murders?

The idea too that somehow the tortures are being used to redeem the victims is a bit unacceptable unless we accept that Jigsaw is totally insane which I guess is a given. At no point do the crimes of the victims equate to what Jigsaw or his protegees perform. The victims in this film are connected to some ‘dark’ real estate deal that went bad and a building was burned in order to raze it and erect a new strip mall or something and some people living in it died. Yea that is bad but not as bad me having to sit through the mess that follows. A group of people, each with some tenuous connection to the crime, are compelled to traverse a series of torture chambers requiring a bloody solution to escaping or die by an exploding glass jar of nails. I am not the only person to have this thought I read online, but why not just break the glass jar and let the nails spill onto the floor rendering the bomb all but useless? Each situation is more absurd than the one before and the most unbelievable is saved for last. In order to fill up a couple containers with the right amount of blood to open the locks on an iron door the two survivors must run their arms from between their fingers to near their elbows through a table saw! It cannot be done. Did I winch as it happened, yea sure. But so what? What sort of achievement is that in a film. I winched in Hostel as well but I liked that movie overall for some reason though it falls into the same category of torture horror. I am picky about this crap I guess.

Most likely one day I will pick up the other films and finish the first one and give them a go one by one. (UPDATE: This post is a couple years old and was moved over from the archives of my now defunct Necrotic Cinema blog. I still have not watched a single other SAW film.) I have read some fans consider this to be the weakest in the series so far but I just seem to have a hard time with the concept and execution of what I have seen so far. It just seems like something I need to watch as a horror blogger due to the franchise’s success and popularity, but I hope it doesn’t wind up being me feeling like I am a victim of one of Jigsaw’s schemes by having to sit through some of this. I must saw off all my fingers with a dull, rusty butter knife or watch the entire film to its conclusion.


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