Friday Harvest: Saw VI, Men Who Stare at Goats, and more!

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by | October 23, 2009 | Comments

Day Five: Saw VI

Saw is a rare horror series that maintains narrative integrity; the movies are
completely unwatchable if you haven’t seen (and discussed and dissected)
previous entries. It’s something that’s as commendable as it is something to
lament. I appreciate the writers’ pursuit in building a mythology, but
(especially in the sequels after IV) the end results are movies that feel
increasingly small and lacking in clarity. Both V and VI end with the same
sudden tone of "Tune in next year, kids!" At first it was fun to chew through
all the backstory the filmmakers tossed at us. Now, it’s dissatisfying to sit
through movies that are lacking semblances of conclusion.

Saw VI generally follows the same plotline as V. Detective Hoffman, now totally
Jigsaw’s heir, behaves badly and spends the movie covering his tracks. The man
being put through a test is a health insurance salesman (Peter Outerbridge),
whose denial of coverage to several people has been deemed a moral
transgression. It’s a curiously apt plot considering the current political
climate, but it also feels a bit hokey. A slimy insurance salesman? That’s the
oldest joke in the book. While another person is put in a trap because he smokes
cigarettes. When the hell did Jigsaw become such a PC thug?[rtimage]MapID=1205735&MapTypeID=2&photo=16&legacy=1[/rtimage]I’ll keep this discussion spoiler-free, but this movie ends similarly to V: a
whole lot of good guys dead and no real clear indication of where the plot will
go next, which doesn’t exactly get me excited for VII. I’m curious to see what
will happen in VII and VIII (supposedly the final ones), but that’s more out of
obligation from having seen all of the movies than any real interest in the
story.[rtimage]MapID=1205735&MapTypeID=2&photo=15&legacy=1[/rtimage]Overall, Saw VI is strictly middle quality for the series, meaning I met it with
kind of a shrug. The plot is so knotted up now that it’s impossible to take
seriously, making gore and blood the only way left for the filmmakers to shock
the audience. Of course, if you marathon these movies over a short period of
time, you get a little desensitized to it…

I’m not particularly disheartened by the series’ decline, having enjoyed I,
and IV more than I expected to. Before watching the movies, I scoffed at people
returning to this bloody well every year. That was a bit hypocritical since I
look forward to my annual Woody Allen movie and it’s no secret some of Allen’s
output this decade is sub-Saw III quality. There’s nothing wrong with people
looking forward to subjecting themselves to these thrills in a theater seat
every year, like a run through a theme park’s haunted mansion, if that’s how
they want to get their jollies. I make no judgments. I’ll leave that up to
Body count:
12. Series record!

Most inventive trap: The carousel trap. Six people, six rounds from a
shotgun, and a drill that goes into your hand. Imagine the possibilities. Also,
hey, on the carousel, it’s the guy from Family Matters!

Stupid person in a horror movie moment: A lot of people still panic
and don’t seem to know who Jigsaw is. You’d think by now they’d know what it
means to wake up in some dank cell next to a cheap, thrift store TV.

My series ranking:

  • Saw. Still an
    effective little shocker.

  • Saw II.
    "appreciate" Saw more, but I’d rather watch this one. A nice spooky horror movie, with Donnie Wahlberg’s prolonged
    anger and violence towards Jigsaw very satisfying.

  • Saw IV
    Breakneck plotting like Saw II. The cinematography is surprisingly
    fantastic (opening autopsy scene is gorgeous and revolting).

  • Saw VI.
    wouldn’t recommend this to most horror fans, but as a late-entry Saw deeply
    entrenched in backstory, it gets the most done.

  • Saw V
    Just kinda boring.

  • Saw III.
    HATED it.

See Saw schedule:

  • Day 1 (10/15):

    Saw (2004)

  • Day 2 (10/16):
    Saw II
  • Day 3 (10/19):
    Saw III
  • Day 4 (10/20):
    Saw IV
  • Day 5 (10/21):
    Saw V
  • Day 6 (10/23): Saw VI (2009)

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