Saw V (V/X)

Here’s what I’ve decided about the Saw series: if you look at them as more of an overarching story about Jigsaw than as a series of vignettes of all these boring people, then it kind of starts to make sense. Just block out all the very tedious characters that you’ll have to wade through, focus of Tobin Bell’s amazing use of terrible dialog, and you might have an enjoyable experience. Otherwise, Jigsaw’s latest puzzle is just as bewildering as ever, with the most convoluted plotline and worst ending of the series.

The movie revolves around a central cast of five characters who are part of a series of traps, cut with scenes of the man we know as the next Jigsaw from Saw IV, Mark Hoffman, played by Costas Mandylor, who looks eternally pissed off and slightly bored at the same time. His expression never changes (I checked!),  and he alone helped to screw this movie over. Tobin Bell as Jigsaw is as creepy as ever – the trying-too-hard plotline gives him some interesting extra characteristics that add to the mythology that has been developing in the series since Jigsaw’s death.

There’s no point in trying to explain the plot any further – if you’ve seen one Saw, you’ve seen them all, basically – this is the goriest of the series, and yet, somehow, the most sophomoric and the most disappointing – the traps are all cheap tricks and hardly any of them are truly creative., if that’s what you’re into. You’ll be grossed out, but never truly scared and never truly disgusted.

Acting is as bad as ever, and the script doesn’t even bother to keep the characters “in character”, so to speak, as the dialog is completely interchangeable between most of the cast. It does tie some storylines nicely all the way back to the first and second one, in ways that I was not expecting, and I know the Saw mythology thoroughly.  This movie doesn’t add much, and it leads up to what will probably be a disappointing sixth movie. Take that for what you will.

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