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  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Shaw)

6 Chances, 6 Lessons. 6 Choices.

Director: Kevin Greutert
Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Peter Outerbridge, Shawnee Smith, Samantha Lemole, Caroline Cave, George Newbern, Darius McCrary, Shauna MacDonald, Devon Bostick, Tanedra Howard
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: R21 (Violence & Gore)
Official Website: http://www.saw6film.com/main.html

Opening Day: 5 November 2009


Special Agent Strahm is dead, and Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw's legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw's grand scheme is finally understood.

Movie Review:

By now, you’re either a fan of the “Saw” franchise or you’re not. Depending on which camp you belong to, you’ll either be gleefully anticipating the arrival of this next instalment of the Halloween staple or recoiling with disgust at its inexplicable longevity. There’s probably no use preaching to the latter camp, so this review will be written for the converted, the ones sold on the series that arguably introduced the genre of “torture porn” to the masses.

Uppermost in the minds of “Saw” fans is probably this- is Saw VI a step-up from what was perhaps the most disappointing entry into the franchise, Saw V? The answer is a definitive yes. Saw VI returns the franchise back to the heights of its glory days in Saw II and III- not just because the choice of life and death was so much more ingeniously designed than the later entries, but also because there was actually a purpose to all that apparent madness.

Indeed, one of the guilty pleasures from watching “Saw” is the elaborately devised death traps by a master of invention, the man they named Jigsaw (after the mark he would leave on his victims). Saw II and III understood that perfectly, teasing its audience with one creative device after another. The same however can’t be said of Saw IV and V, whose traps were arguably dull and inferior in comparison. What a delight then that Saw VI offers such an indulgence once more- counting among its other nifty designs, a six-man carousel rotating its victims one by one in front of a loaded gun.

But sadistic as this may sound, what blood that was shed or flesh that was sacrificed was for a greater purpose- “rehabilitation”, as Jigsaw called it. Frustrated by the cavalier ways that people were living their lives, Jigsaw’s plan was to teach them a lesson to value what they had in life and in fact to value life itself, a precious commodity the cancer-ridden Jigsaw was fast losing. Somehow, Saw IV and V became less concerned with this purpose and plan, preoccupied with the means instead of the ends, quite opposite from the intentions of the earlier “Saw” trilogy.

Saw VI returns not only with that singular focus, but also with an equally relevant lesson, especially for those in the real estate and the healthcare sector. Its opening scene will probably bring some vicarious joy to those in the US whose houses are being callously repossessed in the current economic doldrums, and its subsequent scenes will be a stark reminder of how imperative health care reform is in the States (making Jigsaw an unlikely advocate for the Obama administration). Yes, Saw VI gets it right by seeing the brilliance of Jigsaw’s plan not just in its engineered devices, but also in its method of instruction.

And like previous instalments, there is always that final twist that reveals the ingenuity behind it all and leaves room for another Saw next Halloween. Saw VI has probably one of the most satisfying twists at the end, and certainly the most gratifying among the three Saws that Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton have written. Taking helm for the first time is long-time series editor Kevin Greutert as director, and his maiden effort is definitely better than David Hackl’s Saw V in keeping a tight taut pace throughout.

So after six entries to the franchise, the question among fans and non-fans must be- is there still life left for yet another Saw? Saw VI answers that question with an affirmative yes. There are still traps yet to be devised, lessons yet to be learned and people yet to be taught. And as sure as there will be another Halloween, so too can you count on Jigsaw to return. Love it or hate it, the choice is yours.

Movie Rating:

(If you’re a Saw aficionado, you’ll find this a pulse-pounding thrill ride of terror and suspense)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

. Horsemen (2009)

. Saw V (2008)

. Saw 4 (2007)

. Saw 3 (2006)

. Saw 2 (2005)

. Hostel (2005)


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