review: Saw V (2008)

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Another year, another Saw film. It’s all good. Saw IV was in my top 5 for last year so I was really looking forward to this next installment in the franchise.

Saw V is the um… fifth film in the Saw series and I, for one, am glad that they didn’t bother with all that messing around naming all the films in the series – there’s no :Cruise Control here – that kind of thing has a tendency to turn your series into a joke. Of course, making terrible sequels also tends to turn your series into a joke. Fortunately the people behind the Saw franchise have also avoided that.

Saw V picks up approximately where Saw IV ends and in common with all the Saw films, we have a person waking up, trapped. I was intrigued to see which way they were going to go with this film since Jigsaw died in the third one. What I’m realising now is that these films aren’t about Jigsaw, and no – they’re not about the gore either. They’re about the story and that’s what sets them apart from all those other dodgy horror films out there.

Tobin Bell has stated that he is signed up for five sequels so looks like next year’s Saw VI will be the last… which, to be honest, was the problem with the Saw V.

The thing about this film is that it felt like a place holder. Ok, we did learn a bit more about what’s going on, however there were also a lot of flashbacks that were explaining about some of the victims from the other films. I don’t care about those victims. They’re dead and gone and unless finding more about them moves the story along I just don’t see the point. Needless to say, I didn’t see the point. My hope is that they have so much to put in Saw VI that they needed this film to tell us a few things before it, and what happened with this film is that they just didn’t quite have enough to make a whole film, so they fleshed it out a bit and a lot of the “fleshing out” stuff they’ve put in is quite boring…

For Saw fans who are wondering if it’s worth seeing the film. Sure, why not? You’ll have to see this film anyway because chances are the next one won’t make sense if you don’t. Also it has some interesting traps, blood all over the place and that great visceral look that you expect of a Saw film.

If you’re a horror fan but not a Saw fan then this film really won’t change your mind. If anything it’ll make you hate Saw even more, it’s really not particularly good.

If you don’t like horror films and you can’t bear the thought of blood everywhere and seeing horrible things happening to people then…. I don’t know why you’re reading this review. Read this one instead.

Overall it’s an ok addition to the franchise, in the sense that it’s still a Saw film… but it really is the weakest out of all of them. I haven’t even mentioned the state of Costas Mandylor, bloody hell, he’s awful. It’s the first time I’ve been properly disappointed by Saw and I really hope that it’s just a blip on the way to the ending this story deserves.


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