Saw VI

Movie Review #918

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Nationwide release on October 23, 2009. Horror/Mystery. This film is rated R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language. Runs 90 minutes. Canadian-American co-production, with additional British and Australian involvement. Director: Kevin Greutert. Screenplay: Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan. Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston, Betsy Russell, Shawnee Smith, Peter Outerbridge, Athena Karkanis, Samantha Lemole, and Tanedra Howard.

AS MUCH FUN AS THE FIRST MOVIE, SURPRISINGLY.

★★★
By Alexander Diminiano

“Once you see death up close, then you know what the value of life is.”
– John Kramer (Tobin Bell) in “Saw VI”

Finally! A sequel that’s actually of the same caliber as the very first “Saw”. It’s almost too good to be true, especially when this is the sixth movie.

This is a thrilling movie. Every “trap” in this movie comes with a psychological motive and is brutally fun. In the opening trap, we watch a man and a woman in a trial where whoever sacrifices the most flesh. Like the Reverse Bear Trap (“Saw”), the Venus Fly Trap (“II”), and the Angel Trap (“III”), the Pound of Flesh scene–as it is known among “Saw” fans–is so much fun because it’s as reviling as it is creative. (Some might prefer to believe that such a scene would be reviling and nothing more, but I trust that those people would not have any interest in reading a review of “Saw VI”.)

“Saw VI” is chock-full of poor dialogue and miserable performances, but it’s nonetheless tremendously interesting. The story brings the “Saw” series full circle, with a much closer look at the darker side of Detective Hoffman, who is suspected of continuing the Jigsaw Killer’s crimes after his death. Per the established tradition of the “Saw” series, this is told largely through flashbacks; the flashbacks seen here haven’t been so meaningful since we were first introduced to the “Saw” story.

I have to wonder, why didn’t Kevin Greutert direct the last four “Saw” movies? He edited them all, but he’s clearly a much better director than he is an editor. “Saw VI” is sometimes campy, sometimes sophisticated. Either way, it’s a fun ride.

Check back next Monday for my “Saw: The Final Chapter” review.

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