Saw VI (2009)

“I want to play a game – again! I know, you’d think that I would be bored of games by now, but there you go…” – What the Jigsaw doll is really thinking perhaps?
Either way, Saw 6 (VI) is about to be released on DVD and Blu Ray, meaning that once again we will be letting Jigsaw into our homes!

Detective Hoffman is continuing his work, punishing the sinners and using agent Strahm as a scapegoat.
However, John Kramer has one final game that he wants carried out (from beyond the grave) so Hoffman and Kramer’s wife set about making his twisted little dreams come true.
This time round, it’s a health insurance company that needs to be punished, so a few members of staff are rounded up and put through the usual torture. In the meantime, Detective Hoffman is still managing to fit in some police work, helping to track down Jigsaw and making sure that everyone thinks that Strahm is the man in question.

However, the final game has some twists that even he isn’t going to like too much. And it seems that his sloppiness on a couple of jobs (when I say jobs I mean cruel torturous murders) may also come back and bite him in the arse.

So, here I am again. Talking about the Saw franchise. The same franchise that I started to tire of after Saw 3. You’re probably expecting me to hate this. Well, not so much actually.

I’m not sure quite what has changed between this and the last two, but I actually found Saw 6 to be an improvement. As if things are back on track somewhat.
Saw 4 and 5 seemed to concentrate so much on the story of John Kramer and justifying how his work could be done after his death, that they forgot about the important things a bit – entertaining us with the sick games.
Saw 6 seems to have less dialogue, and the dialogue which is there is more relevant to what’s going on, rather than filling-in back story.

The games are horrible again, definitely more depraved than those in the past two instalments. And to some extent, the Saw team managed to keep me guessing for longer this time round, which is great.

However, the most scary thing for me watching it last night (in all of its High Definition glory) was that I seem to have been desensitised by it all.
The bone crunching, artery splitting, eyeball popping horrors that used to make me wince and played on my mind afterwards, just don’t anymore.
Has Saw slowly made me accept such evil acts, starting me on a path that could lead to me becoming a remorseless psychopath? Maybe.

However, it could also have something to do with the sort of people that are now chosen to fight for their lives. Whereas the initial subjects were relatively innocent (unpaid parking tickets, leaving the toilet seat up, that sort of thing), more recently Jigsaw is punishing the sort of people that we would all like to punish. Meaning that we watch insurance salesmen getting dismembered and think ‘yeah, he deserves that’.

This incarnation of Saw is just as good looking as ever. Lots of concrete, artificial lighting and what seems to be a perpetual night-time.
The talent is still there, with most of the actors from previous episodes showing their faces.
However, the use of the word ‘episode’ leads me on to my final point. 6 (and soon to be 7) parts to an on-going horror story is just too much. I have a good memory for films, but this time I was seriously struggling to string together all of the references to the other Saw parts.
If it wasn’t so horrible and deranged, the whole Saw story would probably have been better off as a TV series, similar to Lost and 24. It has just as many twists and each film references most, if not all of its predesessors in some way. There have just been too many, and it’s very complex.
To fully ‘get’ it all, you’d have to watch all of the films back to back, and that, I fear would probably turn you into a remorseless psychopath.

Saw 6, is better than the past couple and is a good film in its own right. Problem is, you can’t really enjoy it in its own right – you need to watch the other 5 to understand it fully.
Irrespective of that, it’s still horrible, grotesque, disturbing and compulsive viewing. Just what every Saw fan would want from a sequel.

I’d like the think that when the games are finally over, the little Jigsaw doll will be able to give up on being the messenger of doom and follow his real dreams. Perhaps entertaining at kids parties or presenting his own chat show.

Saw VI is out on DVD and Blu Ray courtesy of Lionsgate on 8th March.

Movie Rating: ★★★½☆ 

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About zombie1

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5 comments

Good review. Honest and to the point, especially when you consider the fact that anyone who would care to read a review for the sixth installment of a horror movie franchise is obviously looking more for specifics on the subject rather than, say, a discussion of it’s themes and motifs.

And to that end, I mostly agree with your opinions of Saw VI. It was certainly a much better effort than the redundant narratives of 4 and 5, though I feel that this latest sequel has kind of lost touch with the whole “only bad people have to play these games” mentality that really made the earlier films appealing.

For example: In Saw VI, two of the victims our main “player” has to compete against are a janitor who’s only crime is still being a smoker in his 50’s (not very smart, but certainly not evil) and a housewife with three children who is literally up on the chopping block simply BECAUSE she is a good woman who does not deserve to die.

In the earlier films, at least the competition was solely between people who (mostly) had it coming, at least by Jigsaw’s standards.

Don’t the rules (on who is seen as bad enough to play) change when Hoffman comes in?
It’s not the rules that change, it’s Jigsaw himself…
Sorry if I have spoilt that for anyone!

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