I want the Saw series to go on forever, I really do. They’re not even remotely good movies any more, I just want to see how much they can milk Leigh Whannell and James Wan’s creation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a tangled narrative carry across so many films. Sure, it’s got a while to go until it beats Friday the 13th, but those films stopped making sense as of Part 2.
It would be absolutely impossible to make sense of Saw VI if you hadn’t seen the preceding films. In fact, I have trouble keeping up because I haven’t bothered to re-watch any since Saw II. This film has so many flashbacks that I almost wish they were colour coded. You’ve got to understand that many of the flashbacks were actually already flashbacks when they originally appeared, and that’s not even including the ‘new’ flashbacks shot for this film. If someone re-cut the entire series into chronological scene order then it would make for… well, probably really boring viewing. It’d be interesting, though…
This time round, Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is worried that the cops are onto him. Whilst Jigsaw’s wife Jill (Betsy Russell) carries out his final wishes (we finally find out what’s in the box!), Hoffman seems to be playing his own game. I could be a lot more relaxed watching the Saw films if I knew that they were heading to some sort of conclusion, but this obviously isn’t the case. Aside from answering questions that have lingered for a couple of sequels and clearly setting up characters for next year’s instalment, I think everyone knows that they’re pretty much making it up as they go along.
The traps aren’t particularly clever, but that’s no surprise after five other films. This one has a couple of clever moments, one of which pretty much extracts some nice black comedy out of an otherwise horrid concept. It is frustrating that people keep falling victim to Jigsaw’s traps. Surely by now people would be a bit smarter? Seeing traps fail wouldn’t necessarily rob the franchise of its only strength – it’d just mean the writers would have to work harder.
Saw needs to try something different, something high concept. This doesn’t mean straying too far from the formula, but a couple of really good setups would mean that it’s worthwhile watching other than simply being stubborn about giving up (like myself). I do hope that they ‘finish the narrative’ before the series gets cancelled (it sounds like I’m talking about a TV show, that’s how many there are) because it’d be a shame for the final film to leave things up in the air.Rating: