Theatrical Review: Saw V

With the events of Saw IV now past, it’s believed that the killer known as Jigsaw has finally been put to rest, but those of us who’ve seen the movie know better because of another protege of the famed killer. One lone FBI agent, Peter Strahm (also seen in Saw IV) believes he’s still out there as well, and after surviving his own Jigsaw deathtrap, Strahm is believed to be unsuited to continue the investigation, but he continues on his own. Now, as five new people are put through the Jigsaw paces, Peter Strahm seeks to find the truth, and we’re given insight as to how this new Jigsaw came to be…

Saw V continues what I believe anyway is your genuine horror epic, and while this film seems a little more sedate than the previous entries, it still delivers the goods in it’s own way, and basically, I tend to think that if you’re a fan of the series, and appreciate all of what it does, then you’ll like this one as well.

But also, much like the previous entries, you can’t go into this one as a virgin to the material and hope to get it all. The creators behind the series have pretty blatantly made it so that you need to see the other chapters, and for me anyway, that’s part of the fun of the series. There’s always things left open with each previous film and each new film pulls some retroactive continuity moves and answers those questions, and they do it in a way that really works. There’s a formula to the whole thing, but yet there’s always something new added, but still working in the formula.

This time around, there’s a new director on board, David Hackl, and Hackl does a decent enough job filling the shoes of both James Wan and Darren Lynn Bousman before him, though he doesn’t quite have the same flash that Bousman has, this still fits visually with what’s come before. And more importantly, so does it’s story.

Tobin Bell returns to the series yet again, and really it wouldn’t be Saw without him in some way, also returning from the previous film are actors Costas Mandylor os Detective Mark Hoffman and Scott Patterson as FBI Agent Peter Strahm and Betsy Russell as Jill Tuck, John Kramer’s wife. New faces to the series this time includes actors like 24’s Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, and veteran character actor Mark Rolston. The entire cast does a great job here, and much like I did with Saw IV I have to give high marks to Scott Patterson again, and would just love to see this guy break out into some bigger stuff.

There’s still lots of questions, including one very big one, to answer from this film, and of course Saw VI has already been announced. As a huge fan of the series, I can’t wait to see it, and so next year at this time, I no doubt will. In the meantime though, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Saw V as long as you’re a fan of the series.

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

26. October 2008 by Darren Goodhart
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