It’s no secret to my contemporaries, I am a horror snob. For the most part, I keep my recent viewing list to a select list of strong films that challenge me mentally and emotionally. It’s quite a shame really since some of the more delightful delicacies of the horror genre are so deliciously low. You shouldn’t always have to eat filet mignon constantly – every now and again you need a nice big juicy burger with a big kosher pickle and French fried potatoes.
There are any number of clichés I could start this review with…
It’s Halloween, it must be Saw.
I would like to play a game.
But the one that would be most appropriate with this foundational Lionsgate franchise would be this: The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be. When we last left our intrepid killer (Costas Mandylor) had just squished his FBI counterpart at the end of what was likely the weakest movie of the series. By this point, Saw had devolved from John Kramer (Tobin Bell), or rather, Jigsaw’s extreme methods of getting people to appreciate the gift of life to being just another slasher film with elaborate set pieces. To me, it was the aspect that Jigsaw didn’t just want to kill the people in his traps, he wanted them to sacrifice, and through that, realize the errors of their ways. It was the loss of this focus that made Saws IV and V weaker than their three predecessors.