Special Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) is dead, and Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw’s legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw’s grand scheme is finally becoming more clear.
We are almost at the end of the road, folks. For the past few weeks, I have been watching and reviewing every single movie in the Saw franchise and now we only have two more to go – Saw VI and Saw 3D (or The Final Chapter). I already reviewed The Spierig Brothers-directed Jigsaw back when it was released in theatres in 2017, so I won’t be doing a re-review here.
I was genuinely nervous going into Saw VI though. I have noticed a sad but unfortunately extremely noticeable pattern with this franchise these past few days – they all get increasingly worse as they go along and sure enough, Saw VI is certainly the worst one I have seen so far. There’s technically a story present but it’s so flat and underdeveloped, not to mention uninteresting, that it feels like there actually isn’t one on display.
It picks up right after the end of Saw V and goes on from there, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan more than likely had no idea where to go after the ending of that film. It ended so abruptly and without any sort of resolution and thus, it was probably difficult for them to continue the storyline here. Instead of telling a compelling and fun story, Saw VI feels like a gigantic rehash of its predecessor and will make you wonder what the point of the film was as a whole.
Almost the entire movie is just an endless slew of torture sequences one after the other with no other real source of entertainment present. Yes, the makeup effects are admittedly terrific and I cannot begin to imagine how much hard work it must have taken for the team to create these disgusting wounds and blood effects for these actors, but there should have been more to the film than just gore.
Even the traps this time are nowhere near as gruesome and fun to watch as the ones on display in the previous installments. It feels like the team behind the movie gathered together for a few minutes to discuss what kind of traps they could use by just throwing random ideas at each other for five minutes and whatever they said they ended up using. They are mostly unimaginative and uninspired.
Plus, just like a lot of the other entries in this series, the acting here is quite bad. It’s not offensively terrible to the point where it will make you cringe, but it’s definitely not strong either. All of the actors just scream and yell the entire movie and that’s it. There’s no emotion from any actor on-screen besides fear. It’s almost like they got approached and were asked if they were good at yelling and if they said yes, they were hired or something.
But if there is an element to Saw VI that I genuinely enjoyed, it would have to be the ending. Just like every other Saw film, this one features a twist ending that isn’t terribly shocking or mind-blowing but it is admittedly decently thought-out and even answers some questions that fans more than likely had after watching Saw III. The film throws all of these curveballs at us during the last few moments of screentime, but it’s nevertheless fun and well-planned out, so I can’t complain there. Sadly, I can complain for hours about the overall quality of Saw VI. It’s tragically boring and uninspired and is yet another example of the franchise running out of steam.
Saw VI is about as tragically boring and uninspiring as horror movies come. It’s yet another example of the gore-filled franchise running out of steam, and fast.
Overall Grade: D-
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language
Directed by: Kevin Greutert
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Release Date: October 23, 2009
Running Time: 90 minutes