Saw VI

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"he helped me "

Oct 24th, 2009

I didn't like Saw V, I didn't like Costas Mandylor (Hoffman) and I didn't like screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston. What chance did this entry have? Out of obligation to the series I sat in the theatre yesterday hoping to get some mild amusement. When the film was over I had a new appreciation for Saw V, Hoffman became the best apprentice ever and Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston created one of the best Saw movies in the franchise. Saw VI rules.

After six films I have no idea how they did it but they kept the franchise fresh and when the end credits started to roll I actually wanted more. Aside from Saw II none of the other sequels made me want to rush out and buy tickets to the next film (but as a horror fan you end up watching the sequels anyway)but I'm already there for Saw VII.

I'm not going to go into the details of the plot here as it's better if you go in fresh. I'm actually grateful information about this entry was kept sparse on the net as I had no idea where this one was headed. If you're a fan of the series you'll love this one as all the questions raised over the course of the franchise are answered. This attempts to give an ending to Jigsaw's legacy and it's one that works well, leaving just enough to continue anew.

Every one of the games is great, never has one of these flicks been able to entertain me with all the traps before. Each is ingenious but never too over the top. The "victims" (its really hard to class them as such this time out) actually have more substance than any previous outings (bar the first Saw) and the tension within the traps has also been amped up. The gore is just as outlandish as its ever been but never gets too cartoony. Even with all my love for each and every trap the carousel of death glimpsed on the posters and trailers is amazing and really sets a new standard which I don't think the series will ever top.

New director Kevin Greutert has managed to stay within the guidelines to have this feel like a Saw flick but has deviated enough to give us something different. The quick cuts are still there but in a far smaller capacity and each of the traps are seen in full view for what they are, the tension comes from the scenes not from the speed of the camera this time out. The dull tones have been kept but the screen is not as saturated with colour filters – the greens and blues are there but not enough to fade out over tones (As with Saw III).

The acting in this one was good from all involved but those caught in the traps were not to the same standard as Jigsaw's apprentices, but who cares really? All are fine and surpass the rubbish on display last time out.

As said above, the apprentices (Amanda returns in flashbacks-yay) are the best here and all are revealed (When I wrote this it seems I spoke too soon) so Jigsaw's work finally gets a little more cohesion than what we were left with after his death. I won't ruin it here but it's really good to see scenes play out that involves all the players, flashbacks of course.

Speaking of flashbacks they actually had a purpose here and tie in not just to Hoffman and his story but to the main game as well. Jigsaw's presence has not felt this strong since the death of his character. Tobin Bell once again delivers a top performance and some of the best dialogue to date, which relates more to other real life topics than the business of killing. Well done to all involved who truly made us be on his side this time.

Costas Mandylor was great. Originally I felt he was a useless character who was shoehorned in to make Jigsaw's killing spree continue. By the end of the film and a fantastic surprise which links into every film so far he became one of the best characters and with this new information actually raised my appreciation of Saw III to V. Hoffman is now standing side by side with Amanda as iconic great.

The surprises and twists here are actually good unlike the last entry. There's nothing too shocking – the first film still holds that over the rest but its enough to walk away happy. Here I feel the need to discuss one of the surprises so skip the next paragraph until you've seen the flick

SPOILERS BEGIN. At the end of the film we get new information and flash back to the events of Saw III where we finally see what was in the envelope left for Amanda. The letter was actually left by Hoffman not Jigsaw and details his knowledge that she was partly responsible for the death of his child (the reason he became Jigsaw in the first place). This revelation was fantastic but to top it all off he has her mess up Jigsaw's last game on purpose to cause her death. I loved the Amanda character for her disregard of Jigsaw's rules and was totally taken aback that it was Hoffman that disregarded his rule not Amanda, she was a true disciple all along. How great it is that one film can change the franchises history so significantly. Genius – long live Hoffman. SPOILERS END.

Saw VI is great and actually feels as though it was made for fans of the franchise. Here the questions are answered and it feels like a reward for being loyal to the franchise thus far. If you are on the fence after the last entry don't worry, just watch it. If you hate the sequels don't worry, just watch it. If you like horror just watch it. This movie was fun and I intend to see it again. 8/10

Best Kill
Shotgun to the face

Kevin Greutert edited Saw 2-5
Not screened for critics to keep the secrets quiet
Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston wrote a good movie

Director: Kevin Greutert
Screenplay: Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston
Released: 2009
Rating: 18
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Shawnee Smith, Tanedra Howard, Mark Rolston, Betsy Russell

Other reviews in the series

Saw II
Saw IV
Saw V
Saw 3D (Saw VII)

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