*Disclaimer* If you haven’t seen the other Saw films the following review will spoil those films, there is no possible way to review this without doing so.
After Agent Strahm has been framed as the ‘Jigsaw’ successor, his former boss Erickson (Mark Rolston) and former partner thought dead Perez (Athena Karkanis) start to investigate what really has happened. The pressure is on Det. Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), as he can feel he is now a suspect. This sets him to visit Jill (Betsy Russell), John Kramer’s (Tobin Bell) ex wife, who has given her a mission from beyond the grave. A new game is set into motion, but this one is personal. As we see how John was treated by the insurance company when he first got sick, and his grand scheme is finally realised.
Saw VI for me was a return to form, with IV and V being weaker entries, this one actually felt fresh. Not only that but it didn’t have that desperation feel the other two had, perhaps because of those set-ups, this one just seemed to flow a lot more naturally. At the central part of this, we have another game, with the focus being on one character, who has to go through a series of traps which involved people he knows. On the side we see two characters locked up in a room, with a monitor to see the games being played out. Outside the game, we see the desperation of Hoffman, his scheme might not have been as flawless as he thought. This rushes him to grant John’s last request, however Jill also has one from John. A reporter is also now on the scene and she knows some inside knowledge, this causes her to also be a part of the game. As with the other films, nothing is what it seems, and everything will be revealed, and you know what? It all made sense too! Also back for this film through flashback’s is the one and only Amanda, and we get to see just how far back she really goes with John. Her relationship with Hoffman is shown as well, and to say there was animosity would be an understatement. One thing I had wondered since three, was what was in the letter Amanda had in III, well they didn’t forget about that here.
The acting here is solid, much like with the other films. Mandylor has settled into the role of Hoffman quite nicely, and I just love the character. I think that is all Mandylor though, there isn’t much to really like about Hoffman, but there is just something there. Rolston and Karkanis are quite good, they had me fooled with their behaviour, and that is all I will say about that. Peter Outerbridge as William Easton, the man central to the main game and a man from Kramer’s past as really something. He faced some messed up traps, and his performance was quite horrific and just so well played. Tobin Bell is tops, need I say more?? He can do this role in his sleep and it’d still be amazing. He is just that good, and so invested in the character. Shawnee Smith was great again and it was good to see Amanda, and now we have a nice fleshed out back story for her. Everyone was else was either okay or annoying, but the main players did their thing and it was great.
Saw VI is a return to form with the franchise, it all flowed well with the previous films. The script to me was smart and I felt they really did do their homework and the ideas where there and not forced. The revelations in the film came as a surprised and I liked them, it worked and it fit in with everything. Having seen all the films so far in the series, I can safely say that I am a big fan, and as a fan this was the film I really wanted. While I didn’t hate IV or V, I think I needed that feeling of freshness to the series to really appreciate it. There is so much going on, and puzzle’s to be pieced together, I just find them so interesting. I am sure I have probably missed things, and all of the films are easy re-watches for me. I just enjoyed this so much, from the amazing set pieces, to the traps themselves and just piecing things together. So many talented people make this film one of the more memorable ones from the series, and I thank them for it.
Saw VI was part of my Horror Films For October, you can find the entire list here.