Same Disturbing Killing Sequences

Because Saw V requires a working knowledge of all four previous films, it has to be strictly for hardcore fans of the series. It demonstrates bargain-basement production quality, hopelessly bad acting, and a dull narrative that’s spun totally out of control. The fifth grisly installment of the deathtrap-oriented franchise picks up immediately where the events of Saw IV  left off, and keeps filling the dungeons with ill-fated, though barely innocent, victims and dismembered body parts.

Having survived a Jigsaw deathtrap by giving himself an emergency tracheotomy as a sealed box and surrounding his head with water, FBI Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) investigates the Jigsaw mystery further. Having figured out everything that has happened in the last four films. He believes the evidence points to shifty Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) who must have gone in cahoots with the late sadistic maniac Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) in torturing and killing wrongdoers who have shaken off the law. Therefore, he follows him around, hoping to catch him out.

Meanwhile, as Detective Hoffman needs to do something before he goes down for the count, he deposits evidence that implicates Agent Strahm, so FBI chief Erickson (Mark Rolston) follows Agent Strahm to see what he is up to. Revisionist history of the previous storylines  in the form of numerous flashbacks divulge Hoffman learning The Code of Jigsaw, which must have been inspired by Showtime’s Dexter while another five strangers: Luba (Meagan Good), Brit (Julie Benz), Mallack (Greg Bryk), Ashley (Laura Gordon) and Charles (Carlo Rota) — are chosen to partake in a new round of sordid fun. Here they wake up in a deathtrap and have to complete a series of puzzles in order to remain alive. The whole story diffuses defenses and vindications of twisted morality with graphic scenes of ghastly mayhem.

The story of Saw V does not entangle well with the previous chapters, and it doesn’t even work well within itself. The story revisit the proven formula. A group of people are trapped inside a series of rooms, each with one of Jigsaw’s traps designed to play off their weaknesses. As the people proceed and die inside, outside of the chamber the police and FBI go through an energetic hunt. There difference here in Saw V is the two storylines are completely irrelevant. There’s no one searching for the missing persons while the ongoing investigation outside the chamber is all about Hoffman, not about any missing people. The separate stories barely even intersect, and never manage to form a cohesive story for the movie as a whole.

Another problem with Saw V is the entire story is so obvious right from the start with five people trapped in a room given a chance to escape. That entire storyline then just becomes secondary to the main plot line. These victims are trapped and need to get out of them to redeem themselves.

The gimmick that once acclaimed a genre is by now obsolete and disclosed, and without any inventive, fresh prospect to keep the audience reined in. The disappointing deathtraps clearly indicate that the writers had already run out of creativity. The overall feel is way too simple. The more you think about the story, the more you’ll realize there is nothing subtle that happened leading up to the terrifying ending, probably because the brutal violence that takes place completely overshadows its subtlety. Little bits of evidence lead towards the final conclusion, but we can predict how it will end. The entire story serves one single purpose towards the end of the film which is not smart at all. Too many scenes are thrown in that have absolutely no conclusion so those will lead to something else. The film also botches the customary final twist, which disorderly paves the way for Saw VI.

Between the revisionist narrative, the disassociated storylines, and unoriginal deathtraps, Saw V cannot be entertaining enough. With its horrific terrorism, the Saw franchise has definitely run its course because it doesn’t live up to the enjoyment of the previous chapters. The latest of Saw pentalogy is just another brutal installment of the most reproductive horror series with the same disturbing killing sequences of the past. This squalid horror sequel proves that Saw franchise will not bring in any new fans and it is about as good and bad as you’d expect a fifth installment to be.
Rating: 0.5/5

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Criticetc is a journalism/film/book critic in Bangkok and Pattaya, and at     and

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