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Saw V

Saw V

Genders: Thriller, Crime, Horror

Director: David Hackl

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan

Actors: Scott Gordon-Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell

Year: 2008
Run time: 1h 32min
IMDB score: 5.6
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Saw V

Genders: Thriller, Crime, Horror

Imdb Score: 5.6

Runtime: 1h 32min

Released: 24 Oct 2008

Director: David Hackl

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan

Actors: Scott Gordon-Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell

Box Office: $56.7M

Company: Lionsgate

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

A stumble, but still on mission.

6/10 I watched Saw V with a good opening night crowd here in Sydney. I've enjoyed all of the Saw films, predictably liking some episodes a lot more than others, and Saw V is, again, very watchable, with some intense moments and no shortage of grisliness. But I'd still say it's the weakest entry in the series to date. The trouble is that the main narrative addition for this episode, which has to sustain half the running time, turns out to be a dramatically weak one. I don't think a Saw film ever previously failed to create excitement or new meaning via one of its big twisty revelations, but Saw V's add next to nothing. The knowledge gained doesn't force any re-evaluation of the past events it concerns; you just see and know a bit more about them, and to no great effect, except for the fact that Tobin Bell's performance is always compelling, maybe even more so when he's talking to people who aren't stuck in Jigsaw's deathtraps.

The Saw films have demonstrated an unfeasibly high success rate over time in terms of pulling off twist after twist and having them nearly all hit home. With this track record, it seems inevitable that there'd be a significant stumble at some point. They've never been bulletproof films (and thrillers are the genre that are hardest to bulletproof), but I'd say Saw V is definitely the stumble. In spite of this, it still keeps in enough with the series in general for me to be ready for Saw VI in 2009 - which I hope will be better work.

4 years ago

Not enough for anyone else, but fans should enjoy it for the most part.

6/10 In what is only the fifth film of the Saw series released over its five year Halloween run at the box office, this latest installation suffers from the same detrimental qualities that made number four slightly disappointing for fans and casual audiences alike. Making his directorial debut here, all eyes are cast upon David Hackl to see if he can either bring something new, or at least keep the momentum going for the popular franchise. The good news for some is that Saw V feels natural and consistent to its recent predecessors helmed by Bousman, yet for many others this won't be something to get excited about. Insofar as the movie itself goes; this is mostly typical Saw material throughout, going through the motions almost. This of course will please those looking for a continuation of the previous instalments, but it will undoubtedly feel too stagnant and jaded to interest anyone else. Nevertheless, for his first feature film at the reins, Hackl proves he can live up to Bousman's style that has been engrained in the series thus far, creating yet another engaging and loyal sequel that will be sure to cater to those craving more twisted games.

For many fans and casual watchers of the series, Saw figuratively died when lead character and focus for the film Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) eventually succumbed to his cancer in film number three. Yet just as instalment IV managed to incorporate the mastermind into its story, as does V in the same manner; through flashbacks. Playing a game of two sides and narratives that eventually collide, Saw V first and foremost continues on where we left from IV, detailing the continuation of Jigsaw's work through forensics expert Hoffman and how he eventually has to tie up all loose ends regarding the deaths of those in III and IV. This narrative, although a little tiresome in its approach of filling in every detail and hole in previous features, nevertheless provides as the real meat of the script. Characters are again rather shallow, and motives are less than clear, yet much of this goes out the window when Mr. Bell graces the screen with his presence. As he has proved time and time again, it is within the character of Jigsaw that Saw's real heart lays, and with plenty of reminiscing going on here in regards to numbers I-IV, there's enough material and characterisation work here to satisfy hardcore fans of the series.

On the other side of the pitch however is a much less character/dialogue driven narrative which focuses solely on another unlucky five as they work their way through the latest of Jigsaws traps, this time set up by successor Hoffman. For those who attend screenings of the latest Saw movies only to watch people get their comeuppance through a series of bloody and grisly tests, then this will be where your thirst is quenched. Taking on a tone that is strikingly similar to instalment two, the challenges presented here are graphic and extremely cerebral, shot in the same berserk ways so far explored in the series (although, the blending scene segment style incorporated in IV is gone) which add to the movie's intense ability to draw you in.

A consistently forceful element of the series, cinematographer David A. Armstrong here follows the movie's mantra of "don't fix what isn't broke", and the film's sense of coherency and embodiment of the script's themes works just as well here as it did in previous features. Sure enough, Saw wouldn't be Saw without its morally challenging undercurrent squirming underneath all the corpses and violence, and in this regard V does well to incorporate the same subtext. Of course as has been the case with all the sequels thus far, the message isn't quite as clear here as it was in the original, and the ideas always seem to be justifying the gore rather than the other -more appropriate- way around, but there's enough here to stop the whole ordeal boiling down to a silly slasher flick with no fibre to it at all.

Needless to say there are many audiences out there who outwardly oppose everything the Saw series stands for, be it involving the gore, the message, or just the tacky horror-movie-sequel feel in general. Yet as I have been witness to many the genre has to offer so far this year I can safely say that while Saw V is by no means a masterpiece nor as significant as its first production, it still beats out most of the competition by quite some distance.

In the end, the entire ordeal feels more like an add-on; a tid-bit of flavour designed to tie up the loose ends left dangling from all the other features, and in this respect V will feel a little underwhelming; even to rabid fans of the series. And yet, it's the fans that will make up most of Saw V's audience. I recommend V, but only to fans, and only because there's hope that VI (which the door is left wide open to here) might get the ball rolling again and begin to tell a new story. So by all means, if you can appreciate the series' unmatched ability to make you squirm, to have you question your moral code, and to fascinate you with its lurid, engrossing world made of cogs, puzzle pieces and of course, saws, then you can't go wrong here. Saw V is everything that fans of the series as a whole will want, but a lack of progression in narrative and its disregard for relevancy to anyone outside of its core audience inevitably cuts it short; not enough for anyone else, but fans should enjoy it for the most part.

- A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)

4 years ago

I believed how it ended

6/10 Given that the Saw films are notable for their unexpected plot twists, the fact that this was the most predictable one makes it difficult to see why it scored the "You won't believe how it ends" tagline. Otherwise, it's decent. It blows Saw III out of the water, but I don't feel it really compares to the other three. I can appreciate that they're trying to bring it back to what the original was all about; a brilliant plot with a couple of gory scenes (the previous two have been somewhat gore-laden with little story for my liking), the problem being, unfortunately, that the plot is fairly weak. The intensity of the torture scenes is greatly increased, though, by the rest period between them.

As a horror film, this works, but don't expect Saw - and don't expect to be blown away by the ending, because it is nothing special. That said, if you're addicted to the Saw saga as so many of us are, there's no harm in going out to see it.

4 years ago

A review of mixed feelings...

6/10 The Saw series has always been a standard of sorts. After what I felt was an iconic debut, the series has always remained consistently interesting, with one of the most compelling and ever expanding plots in film history. People may complain that the series is in decline, but what people need to realize is that each part is astronomically better than the corresponding parts of other horror series (for example, Saw IV is better than Halloween IV, or the 4th Nightmare on Elm Street film). The same holds true for Saw V, though the film definitely shows that the series is in decline and needs to end soon before it descends into pure absurdity.

A universal truth of the Saw series is that every entry, no matter who does it, will always be well written and contain a plot twist or two at the end. Again, Saw V continues the tradition of revealing the 'huge' (if you could call it that) twist whilst "Hello Zepp" by Charlie Clouser plays in the background. The film answers as many questions as it raises, and serves as more of an origin movie, like Saw IV did. Only this time, the origin doesn't focus on John Kramer/Jigsaw, and therein lies the problem.

Why does Saw V fail to impress me? Simple. Not enough Jigsaw. Tobin Bell, who has managed to create an iconic villain over the last 5 years, delivers another sublime performance that is not to missed in the world of horror as perhaps the greatest villain of the decade. It really amazed me how Saw IV had the best acting of the series, but just one movie later, pretty much every performer falls flat on their face. This is especially sad considering most of the cast are returning characters, except your typical "why is this happening to me! AHHH!" type characters (which got unbearably annoying, considering they killed off the two least annoying ones first). Meagan Good and Costas Mandylor are acceptable in their roles, however.

Back to the lack of Jigsaw. Tobin Bell really doesn't physically appear that much in the movie, and that is far and away its biggest flaw. The film is similar to Saw II more than the others. To get my drift a little better, imagine the second film, except reduce Jigsaw's screen time by about half. Yeah. This is the only weakness of the screenplay for me, which appears to have matured from the over the top torture porn in Saw III and the ridiculous attempt to run Saw IV concurrently with its predecessor. The film's biggest flaw is in the acting and lack of Jigsaw. Besides this, I really felt that it fit the mold as a worthy entry to the series.

After watching this, however, I no longer feel that Saw is the standard of excellence in horror as it once was. That said, the film has the advantage of being short and never dragging. It's well paced and will more than deliver the thrills. Another thing I feel obligated to mention is that this is the least scariest film in the series, which is okay, because unlike every other cheap horror film, Saw V doesn't try to be scary. It's more of a thriller with some gruesome images (like the first film) than a full blown horror movie (like parts II & III).

In the end, what it comes down to as far as your ability to enjoy the movie, you have to ask yourself this question: "why do I watch the Saw series?". If you watch it for the story and plot twists, you should be at least satisfied, if not entertained. If you watch the series for pure shock and awe and disgust, you'll be disappointed, because Saw V does not try to be a horror film outside of a few scenes. It's a decent entry to the series that is tolerable, despite a lack of the iconic Jigsaw, horrid acting, and a somewhat predictable plot twist (easily the most predictable of the series).

4 years ago

Very Acceptable

7/10 To say the least, I was NOT disappointed. I enjoyed the film as much as I thought I would. Going in, I had some doubts, what with a new director and this being a fifth installment in a horror series (they usually start sucking by the 3rd).

As soon as the opening credits start, you can already tell that a different director had his hands on the project. Acceptence doesn't take long to sink in though. As expected, the film meets the typical Saw requirements. Multiple traps and more revealing back-story.

Simply put, Saw V should not disappoint the loyal Saw fan. I know I'll be back for the next installment with bells on.

Seeing that this is the fifth film, you simply MUST see 1-4 in order to truly understand all the flashbacks. I don't want to give anything away, so all I will say is this: The very last trap in this film is one of my new favorites. . .

4 years ago