Over the last half decade a tradition has been formed for my friends and I, right around every Halloween we set out to the theater and take in the newest film in the Saw franchise. The series is very much everything that is wrong with the horror genre these days but I’m not going to lie I still find the overarching storyline to be quite enjoyable. From a personal standpoint the films have gone progressively downhill since the second one and I honestly was not expecting for “Saw VI” to do anything different and for the second year in a row, leave the theater disappointed.
For the most part “Saw VI” stays true to the formula it has built for itself. There are still elaborate traps that result in some grisly deaths. There is still multiple storylines involving the deceased Jigsaw, his wife, Jigsaw’s apprentice, Amanda, and his ultimate successor, Hoffman. And there is still one giant game to be played, this time focusing on the quite topical health-care industry and insurance in general.
Kevin Greutert took the helm for this installment of the franchise after working as an editor on the previous films. While it may seem that the Saw films could probably direct themselves at this point in time, Greutert does an admirable job at keeping the film focused and clear even with the multiple storylines and plot points spanning all the way back to the original film in the series. Greutert has the style of the series down pat and if any complaint could be leveled at his finished product is that it feels much to similar to every previous film.
With the loss of Jigsaw as the primary adversary the films since the third film have lost a step. Almost nothing in “Saw VI” really stands out. Sure the traps are new and they result in some amazingly gory scenes but it all feels like we have been there and done that before. What does stand out in the film though is the ending, which neatly ties together the Jigsaw storyline (and possibly actor Tobin Bell’s involvement in the series) and leaves open the possibility for an entirely new direction to be taken.
“Saw VI” is anything but original but it is also able to do just enough for longtime fans of the series to be more than pleased with the outcome. Let me make this perfectly clear, “Saw VI” is not going to change anyone’s impressions of the series. If you did not like any of the previous films you will not like this latest sequel. However if you are looking for more pieces to the ever evolving puzzle that is the Saw franchise then the price of admission will be well spent.
3 out of 5