Saw VI is a horror movie about health insurance. Jigsaw's back again, in flashback, for a 6th time. This one is a clear improvement over the dreary fifth instalment and once again raises the bar regarding all things gruesome and horrific.
The end of Saw V killed off Special Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylore) emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw's legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to him, he is forced to set a game in to motion and Jigsaw's grand scheme unfolds. Editor turned director Kevin Greutert shows confidence behind the camera as on its own, Saw VI is intense, horrifying and disgusting in equal measures and sometimes implausible but surprisingly intriguing, regarding Jigsaw's back story. As always, Tobin Bell (Jigsaw) holds the film together.
Most critics are bored of the Saw franchise by now. Typically, it's critically panned by the media worldwide, average ratings are between 1-2 stars. When the first film was released on Halloween in 2004, it was classified as being 'vile filth' by the L.A. Times and 'torture porn' in the same vein as Hostel Parts 1 and 2. During this time it was considered to cater for the niche audience. It has now become a genuine cinema phenomenon, and the most successful horror movie franchise to date. Saws 1- 5 have taken $668 million in America and have all gone to number 1 at the box office (besides this one). It has outgrossed Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday 13th. There is now even a Saw computer game and Saw ride at Thorpe Park. However, in my eyes I perceive Saw as not being all about gore. Beneath this entire bloody spectacle lies a very smart and clever body of films infused with moral seriousness. Despite being a brutal killer, Jigsaw is punishing those who he (correctly) regards as being immoral. Therefore, the torture is not presented gratuitously or sadistically, as seen in Captivity for example.
Also, as Jane Graham correctly points out, each Saw film is not the same film over and over again. Each instalment has slowly been unravelling the compelling intriguing back story behind Jigsaw's complex character. It skilfully raises the bar in terms of how brutal and horrific horror can get, yet it always holds something back so that the creators have got something even more shocking in store for the next instalment a year later.
Saw VI has restored my faith in the franchise and I look forward to experiencing Saw 7 this Halloween in 3D.
Directed by Kevin Greutert
Reference: Graham, Jane (Thursday 15th October 2009) Saw: Brutality is only Skin Deep.