Saw V

June 4th, 2009 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

No, it’s not the best horror/thriller franchise around (despite being the most profitable), but what Saw does that few others is tells a story. Yeah, they all say that, but consider how most film sequels — particularly less ‘literary’ genres like horror and comedy — are virtual remakes of the film that came before.

Each new Saw film recreates the same mood and directorial aesthetic, but each film starts when the previous one ends and continues to tell a story about the characters, to the point where if it’s been too long since you watched the last one you won’t know what’s going on.

Little hooks and red herrings refer back to stuff that happened to previous characters right back to the beginning, and the ideal would be to sit and watch them all in sequence as a kind of seven hour meta-film, but they just keep making more (Saw IV being prepped as we speak.

Sure the story is contrived, like the revelation (look away now if you don’t like spoilers) that Jigsaw had another hidden helper from the very beginning in Detective Hoffman.

But Peter, another detective from the tangled webb of cops (most of whom are dead by now), is one the case. He recently managed an innovative and squirm-inducing escape from one of Jigsaw’s traps, and he suspects Hoffman when the body of another lowlife despatched from this mortal coil connects back to him.

At the same time, a group of five apparent strangers find themselves in yet another maze of deadly puzzles, alleigances shifting among them to secure their escape before the final shocking revalation about themselves (you’ll never look at a benchtop band saw the same again).

Is it getting boring? Only if you don’t like this sort of thing. It delivers everything a Saw film promises — dank rooms shuttered with steel doors, seemingly innocent people terrified to the point of madness and liberal splatterings of claret.

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