See Saw with Alex, Day 5: Saw V

The series takes another dip.

by | October 21, 2009 | Comments




Day Five: Saw V

There was no sense of accomplishment after watching Saw V, that little
satisfaction of having finished a movie that follows you for the rest of the
day. Right now, it just feels like I sat down in my room and stared at a wall
for two hours.

It’s like I’ve woken up in one of Jigsaw’s traps, completely unable to piece
together what happened just a few hours ago. Did anything even remotely
significant or compelling happen in this movie? Everything that’s thrown at the
audience I kind of just met with a shrug and I don’t think it’s necessarily me
burning out on the series. I mean, what exactly is supposed to be interesting
about Hoffman’s origin story? He’s blackmailed by Jigsaw, but nothing in Costas
Mandylor’s performance suggests pleasure or torment or ambivalence in his
actions. He looks like a guy just going through the motions. I assume the
filmmakers cast the physically imposing Mandylor to be a visual foil to Tobin
Bell’s snooping, wiry look, but considering this is a series where characters
rarely ever come to blows, Mandylor’s stature is just mostly wasted.[rtimage]MapID=1191699&MapTypeID=2&photo=15&legacy=1[/rtimage]I wrote yesterday that Special Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) was a much-needed
injection to the series so it was quite shocking how quickly Saw V removes
everything that was appealing about him. Strahm picks up a Jigsaw tape that
advises him to stay put in a room. He then promptly ignores this warning. Why?
Nothing about him suggests he’d do something so flagrantly stupid. Then he
performs a self-tracheotomy and talks with a ridiculous rasp for the rest of the
movie that rivals Christian Bale’s Batman voice in distraction factor. Strahm’s
death by crushing at the end is, in effect, leeched of all emotion.
Screenwriters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton clearly lost interest in the
character and so did I.

I was optimistic about the movie’s central trap segment: a group of people
working together in an undisclosed location, similar to Saw II‘s setup.
However, nobody on the outside was even aware they existed so there was no
urgency at all in that storyline. And since the characters devise that a person
has to be scarified in each room, everything quickly, violently devolves into
routine.

So, in the end, virtually all good guys are dead and Hoffman is primed to go on
his way. I’m curious to see how the filmmakers will escape the corner they’ve
painted themselves into, but I’m not holding out hope that it’ll be particularly
compelling.[rtimage]MapID=1191699&MapTypeID=2&photo=11&legacy=1[/rtimage]As an aside, I’ve been thinking about how some diehard Saw fans wonder when
we’ll definitely find out what happens to Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes, who saws
off his foot and crawls away in the first movie). I assume he’s dead, but people
still talk about him. I hope we never find out. The series burdens itself with
exposition and backstory that very little in the way of actual mystery remains.
One of the most haunting images is also among the simplest: Gordon’s brown,
wizened foot still resting in its shackle (which I believe is from Saw II),
a symbol of simplified horror.[rtimage]MapID=1191699&MapTypeID=2&photo=12&legacy=1[/rtimage]
Body count:
7.

Most inventive trap: The water box trap that Strahm finds himself in
is decent, but the way he gets out of it (pen to the throat) is the movie’s
probably singular clever touch.

Stupid person in a horror movie moment: Definitely Strahm blowing off
Jigsaw’s warnings. How’d you get this job with that attitude?

See Saw schedule:

  • Day 1 (10/15):

    Saw (2004)

  • Day 2 (10/16):
    Saw II
    (2005)
  • Day 3 (10/19):
    Saw III
    (2006)
  • Day 4 (10/20):
    Saw IV
    (2007)
  • Day 5 (10/21): Saw V (2008)
  • Day 6 (10/23): Saw VI (2009)

Tag Cloud

Photos Paramount Marathons GIFs Teen Mindy Kaling Western Horror TruTV Election crime drama Musical PaleyFest Winners Amazon mutant CMT Trivia Holidays Comic Book Bravo Kids & Family Fall TV TV Comedy Crackle harry potter Sundance VH1 dceu FOX Syfy DC Comics thriller BBC America YouTube Premium Columbia Pictures Country Apple TLC SDCC finale Watching Series APB ESPN Hulu Countdown 20th Century Fox talk show DC streaming service golden globes SXSW Acorn TV travel TCA 2017 Rock Mystery cooking Tumblr E! YouTube Red CW Seed Music zombie Starz Podcast X-Men vampires Sci-Fi GoT Fantasy Masterpiece Netflix Lucasfilm Valentine's Day SundanceTV cats ABC NYCC FXX Trailer BBC sitcom based on movie Lionsgate GLAAD Ovation Video Games unscripted FX Musicals Drama IFC MSNBC Reality Competition MTV boxoffice blaxploitation 45 Year in Review Reality See It Skip It period drama TCA Universal cops IFC Films 24 frames crime Super Bowl Shondaland Pixar Biopics Interview American Society of Cinematographers DC Universe Esquire robots Christmas Walt Disney Pictures Set visit psycho Disney OWN dramedy VICE Writers Guild of America Sundance Now Comedy Central YA Fox News zombies discovery Star Trek Rocky comiccon Best and Worst Spike First Look History Animation Star Wars Pop political drama Freeform Nat Geo historical drama PBS Cartoon Network Certified Fresh ITV Adult Swim TV Land Superheroes docudrama Creative Arts Emmys BET RT History romance 2017 E3 Logo Winter TV Rom-Com 2015 streaming science fiction Ghostbusters HBO Pirates Mary Tyler Moore supernatural Grammys Character Guide ABC Family Red Carpet Summer Sony Pictures Martial Arts AMC NBC Emmys Opinion cinemax Nominations Britbox Infographic TIFF The CW Nickelodeon war Oscars politics singing competition Premiere Dates The Arrangement Paramount Network Disney Channel Marvel TBS Tomatazos Ellie Kemper aliens Warner Bros. TNT 2016 007 Thanksgiving USA Network National Geographic Food Network Sneak Peek Showtime crime thriller Action Toys what to watch USA biography transformers social media Spring TV President police drama festivals diversity serial killer A&E medical drama CBS Cosplay Schedule cults spy thriller sports Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 21st Century Fox binge Awards hist CNN LGBTQ Extras TCM ratings WGN composers Superheroe Lifetime El Rey CBS All Access Box Office Calendar crossover technology Dark Horse Comics Polls and Games dc justice league DirecTV adventure