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Saw V

Genre: , ,

Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon, Meagan Good

Director: David Hackl

Rated: R

Review By:
Tom Herrmann

Suny Purchase '11

"When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons and make super-lemons." -Clone High

Release Date: January 20th, 2009
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Overall Grade: B-

Saw V

Review By: Tom Herrmann

Click Here to Read the Theatrical Review!

Saw V

Movie Grade: C-

DVD Features Grade: A

Overall Grade: B-

When the original Saw was released in 2003, I vividly remember sitting in the theater and loving every moment of it. I was 15 and had never seen a horror film that had pushed the envelope of cinema in my generation as much as Saw. With elaborate and grotesque death scenes that never seemed to back down from showing all the goods, Saw quickly earned its spot on my list of favorite horror films that it holds to this day. It might not have the best acting in the world, but the way the story ran through both flashbacks and parallels while revolving around two men in a room made up for it.

Now its five years later and for some reason I still find myself in a movie theater every year around Halloween going to see my good friend Jigsaw soiled a little more. Saw II was a really good follow up, but from Saw III on it felt like something was missing. Putting a fresh new installment every year can't be easy and the fact that they still add new tie-ins decently well this late in the franchise deserves some level of respect. I just feel like Lionsgate should chill out a bit with the franchise. Maybe take three years off to really perfect the next movie, rather than destroy what will surly be the horror icon of my generation like the cinematic whores they are.

But where was I? Oh yeah, Saw V is an effort to further tie-in the new Jigsaw character Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). Similar to Saw IV there are two stories being told, a present storyline and another shown through flashbacks to establish the relationship between the original Jigsaw and Hoffman. The real time storyline is about five individuals that have to go through a series of traps in order to escape and learn something"¦ BECAUSE KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE!

If my G.I. Joe reference didn't get the point across, the lessons are getting really cheesy. We're in the fifth film so I guess it must be hard to come up with a new lesson for each movie, but seriously, this one teaches us to work together. I feel like watching Muppet Babies is what should teach me the value of team work, not a Saw movie.

Some of the traps were obviously meant to make them work together. The jars trap stands out in my mind the most. The idea is that they are in a room with glass jars hanging from the sealing with keys in them that open chambers in the walls. There is also a timer hooked-up to nail bombs that will explode. So being in one of them seems very crucial. Here's the catch, there aren't enough chambers. In the movie

they scramble to get in first but I really feel like if I had been there, even under the stress I would realize you could fit two people in each of them. Not these characters though. They decide to crack each other with metal rods because apparently none of them learned to share. They should have watched more Muppet Babies I guess.

It might seem like this review is just out for blood but that isn't the case. I was dreading having to watch the special features for this, but I was in for a pleasant surprise. The bonus material not only entertained me, but I actually want to go out and buy all the Saw DVDs I don't already own. Rather than having pointless deleted scenes among other stuff that isn't worth seeing in the first place, they have a behind the scenes of every trap.

After watching all of them I had a new found respect for the franchise. Everyone involved in these movies seems to really know what they're doing; except the actors and writers of course. The way they make the death scenes come to life was really amazing and actually answered a lot of questions. The editor got a significant amount of praise for the cube scene. It really illustrated the expertise of Kevin Greutert who has been the editor for the entire series. The way he puts shots together really is amazing.

I highly recommend at least a rental of this DVD if nothing else. Fans of the franchise will enjoy the film itself, and not only horror fans but cinema fans as well will enjoy watching the production of the traps and the editing. I really can't believe how much the special features seem to make up for the swill that is Saw V. It's not an exaggeration when I say that Saw V was by far the worst in the series; considering part three that's pretty bad. If it wasn't for the special features this DVD would be getting a D grade but with them considered it will be getting a much higher one.

Movie Grade: C-

DVD Features Grade: A

Overall Grade: B-

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