Saw VI

In 2004, first-time writer/director James Wan paved the way for one of the longest-running horror film franchises of all time. A franchise that has consistently defied people’s beliefs that the last film they saw in particular was the final in the series, and yet another had been quickly announced. This has happened since Saw III, when a good majority of the audience expected the blood and terror to climax in a trilogy. But they were wrong. The games have continued, the blood still readily flows, and now we’re at the sixth instalment. But the real question is, won’t it be goddamned awful?

No. There you go. The answer to the question that was potentially just on your lips has been answered, and the no is in fact a firm no. What we have with Saw VI is a screenplay written by the two writers also behind Saw IV and Saw V, which I thought were mainly terrible, especially with the latter. With Saw IV it felt like Darren Lynn Bousman – who is at the directorial helm of the upcoming remake of a Troma classic, Mother’s Day – put a little too much of his time and effort into the fancy transitions, whereas in Saw V I thought the film to be a drawn-out and pointlessly bloody affair without much time given to continuing the Saw story. So pointless in fact that the flashbacks that we have seen in all the Saw sequels barely even touched upon the events of the fifth film in the sixth.

I am definitely a Saw fan, but only because I think the original film is a work of sheer brilliance. It shocked the horror world simply for its originality, especially in the West. You can tell that it’s heavily inspired by Asian cinema, such as the likes of Takashi Miike’s films. Also it began the so called “torture porn” movement, which I believe to be absolute nonsense. The movement lead for films such as those in the Saw series and Eli Roth’s two Hostel pictures to be rather maliciously attacked, and branded as films that contain zero story and nothing but violence. While violence is the integral gimmick of both Saw and Hostel, it would simply be idiotic to say that they were void of telling a story. It’s predominately yet another case of those throwing the abuse at these films never seeing them in the first place. Anyway, I’d rather not turn this review into an essay on modern day horror film-making, so let’s go back on track.

Saw VI takes the franchise back up to the level of the original and first sequel. After drooping far down with the third film onwards, the series has truly redeemed itself with the sixth, offering many of the twists and turns in unexpected ways, while concentrating wholeheartedly on telling a good story. Usually in reviews I’d give a little taste of the story, but I just can’t because I’d already been giving out spoilers. Just as there’s only one trailer for the film, which centres on the number six and the kids' carousel, which is a trap. And that’s no big secret either if you’ve seen the trailer, so don’t blame me for revealing that one little detail.

Saw VI, directed by a long-time editor of the films, has restored my faith in the franchise that I mainly lost when I watched Saw IV, and has turned out to actually be money well spent when it comes to the ticket price, so props to the writers and director for giving us an … interestingly gory flick.

Just like I wrote at the beginning of this review, people always think the latest film is the last, and as I was leaving the cinema, I overheard that exact thing. I wanted to open my mouth, but it was a stranger, so I thought it’d be best not to, because Saw VII is all set for a Halloween 2010 release and it’s currently in pre-production, most likely shooting in February or March, and from what I hear, will be shot in 3D. Seeing as how I thought The Final Destination's 3D gimmick actually paid off, I will look forward to seeing the seventh instalment after being made happy by the sixth. But one thing that has immediately and unfortunately caught my attention is that David Hackl, the director of Saw V, is returning for VII.

Official UK Site
Saw VI at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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