Thursday, November 06, 2008
REVIEW: Saw V
Director: David Hackl
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz
MPAA: Rated R
It was Halloween and I decided to go see a horror film with a couple of friends of mine. After going through a list of films that have already opened and that was a horror flick, we decided on Saw V. Seeing as how we have already seen the previous Saw films, watching Saw V would be a no brainer right? Well, not exactly because we really weren't planning on seeing the 5th entry in this thriller of a franchise. Its not that we didn't want to, its just that we never really thought about it. We figured its Halloween and we just want to watch something bloody just to get into the spirit.
Hoffman is seemingly the last person alive to carry on the Jigsaw legacy. But when his secret is threatened, Hoffman must go on the hunt to eliminate all loose ends.
Just like the previous Saw films, Saw V begins with someone being tortured through a series of life taking challenges. After that scene we come back to the last scene of Saw 4 where Strahm is locked in a dark room with a dead body of Jigsaw. This movie had a very dark tone and view. The movie was not only just based on flashbacks of Hoffman and Jigsaw working together, but it also had a little side story. In a normal Saw movie there’s always someone going through series of challenges to determine their faith of death and survival and this movie was no different. Five people were put in a room together to be tested, but the interesting thing about these five people were that they aware of Jigsaw. Jigsaw’s work in Saw 1, 2, and 3 had spread news about him and these 5 people were aware of the test and quickly decided to work together in carefully making their decisions. What disappointed me was that these 5 people’s intelligence did’t last long when one person had more information then the other person later turning the whole situation into a case of betrayals within one another. I was really amazed by the flashbacks and how it showed all the torture scenes being created by Jigsaw with the help of Hoffman. I was really disappointed by the ending of the last scene of Saw 5. Yes, it was gruesome, bloody, and a last act of survival yet it wasn't anything like Jigsaw's type of ending that we have all come to expect. I guess I was expecting alittle more.
Tobin Bell returns as the sinister Jigsaw. He doesn't really have a big role in this film like he did in the previous Saw films. His character is mostly seen in flashbacks and we hardly get enough of him. Costas Mandylor also returns as Mark Hoffman. His role is pretty big, but I didn't really enjoy his performance. I thought he could have a done a much better job playing a certain somebody. Scott Patterson also reprises his role as Agent Strahm and I enjoyed his work here. He doesn't do anything special from his previous performance in Saw IV, but I still enjoyed him in this role. Betsy Russell plays as Jill Tuck and shes just as good as she was in the previous Saw entry's.
Just like any other Saw film, Saw V is dark. The film does however have a clean film source which doesn't come off as a surprise considering its relatively new. I wasn't able to detect much film grain with the image mostly having a smooth look to it. Colors are hardly eye popping with the film being very dark. Black levels on the other hand are very strong and hold up very well in some of the other darker scenes. Flesh tones are fairly accurate, but also feel alittle off at times. Detail is generally strong with alot of close up shots looking wonderfully detailed. Their are a few scenes here and their that don't offer enough detail like some of the other scenes do, but this is a good looking film overall.
Many of the scenes in Saw all had a dark tone of sound playing because the characters were all put in a dark frightening situation. My favorite part of the sound is the last scene of all Saw movies where there’s like a finale music going where the audience awe at the moment of a dramatic, shocking, and maybe a bit frightening style of an ending. The movie doesn't really consist of much music and is much more dialogue driven, but what we do get here isn't bad. I just wish it was used effectively and spread out more. The bass in Saw V is surprisingly good. Even though the film is mostly dialogue driven, the bass still packs a good punch. It isn't reference material by all means, but its still a good mix for a film like this.
Saw V felt just like any other Saw movie that we have seen in the past maybe with some new types of death scenes. I think this movie was OK since it delivers a good story and a good amount of bloodshed and what else can we expect in a Saw movie. I didn't really see any thing a bit shocking in the end though since it wasn't really a well thought out ending, it was still pretty gruesome. I just hope there’s more ideas shown in Saw 6. The picture quality was good for new release with a good amount of detail being shown. The soundtrack was more of a mixed bag, but the film did contain some good bass. I think Saw V is worth checking out if your still interested in this franchise. The story is pretty interesting and nicely sets up the next film.