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The Closing Chapter in the Saw Horror Franchise
on 17 May 2015
This is the sixth and final sequel in the enormously successful Saw franchise of horror films.
Jigsaw is a deceased serial killer, who's method of madness was to abduct victims and give them a terrifying choice. They could either take part in the most depraved and vile tests of physical and psychological endurance, and survive, or else fail the tests and die. After Jigsaw's violent end in one of the earlier sequels, two of his followers, namely his surviving wife Jill, and a deranged cop, Detective Mark Hoffmann, took up the reins of the terror campaign and continued to ensnare and torture victims, using the sadistic and cruel techniques devised by the deceased killer.
Here, a group of emotionally scarred Jigsaw survivors gather together to seek counselling support from a self-help guru and co-survivor, Bobby Dagen, who's becoming a bit of a T.V. celebrity. Meanwhile, Detective Hoffmann is still at large, and a new police investigator, Matt Gibson, is assigned to help track down the rogue maniac cop. The widow Jill, who isn't under suspicion with the authorities, plots to help Gibson bring down Hoffmann, in an effort to swerve the investigations away from her own wrongdoing. It's not long before Dagen and his wife are imprisoned in one of Jigsaw's booby-trapped lairs, and Dagen is then given just one hour to survive some more sadistic and gruesome game playing, or else he and his wife will die...
This horror flick sticks faithfully to the tried and tested formula of the earlier sequels. The demented Hoffman continues to snatch carefully targeted victims, reprehensible individuals including fraudsters, rapists, sex offenders and other malignant souls. He then compels them to endure the most arduous tests of their physical and psychological limits, as the only way to avoid death. The set designs and mechanical effects for the instruments of torture and dismemberment are imaginative, the sort of devices that would make the organisers of the Spanish Inquisition blanch and reach for a sick bag. Character development and script very much take a back seat to the scenes of gore and horror, and like the other sequels, excluding the excellent fifth one, the film suffers for a lack of well developed and sympathetic characters. Furthermore, the sheer brutality of the methods devised by Jigsaw and his followers never quite gels with the story's efforts to somehow justify their actions by selecting particularly repugnant reprobates as the victims.
However, all in all, this is a slick and fairly well executed horror film, worth a solid 3.5 stars. The strongest Saw flicks are easily the first and sixth ones, whilst the other five are less involving for the reviewer and much of a muchness.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this review.