?Saw V? saws through series integrity

Amanda Alvarado

Saw V arrives in time to pose a fright this Halloween. Many horror fans, and guys planning on a good groping session, flock to the notorious original’s fourth sequel.

Although, the film upholds the ‘torture porn’ standard – satiating our need for overly gratuitous mutilation ‘- it lacks surprise and suspense. The Lionsgate film’s true horror stems from its ability to replay the conclusion of Saw II once again.

Consistent with the series, Saw V aligns the genre’s ultra moralist, elimination game with the sick justice of the serial killer, Jigsaw. Survival of the fittest, pain therapy, emboweling, head-decapitating traps combine into one, extremely long game. In order to keep the viewer’s attention, the film crosscuts between three developments: flashbacks revealing a Jigsaw accomplice (not Amanda), a new game with five new players and one loner cop trying to stop it all.

Contradictory to the narrative theme of valuing life, each sequel forces the viewers to care less and less about theses characters. The intertwining of the series plots attempts to redirect our understanding of Jigsaw’s legacy without offering any true revelations. A worthy sequel must be more than a feature length depiction of the first sequel’s (Saw II) third act. The flashbacks, necessary to show the hidden gaps in previous films, only gives a d’eacute;j’agrave; vu experience. Ultimately desensitization to both the indecipherable plot addition and continuous gore makes the viewers want to Jigsaw trap the writers, curing us of annoyance.

Steal the motif puppet. Look out Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (It really took two, professional screenwriters?!?). ‘I want to play a little game. Let’s see if you can write a compelling story without regurgitating the same old plot points. In the new vein of things, your own blood will be the written redemption to the life of a new film.’ Saw XXI in theatres summer 2009.

In all seriousness, the tagline boasting ‘You won’t believe how it ends’ could not be farther from the truth. I won’t tell you how it ends, in case you decide not to heed this review. Be forewarned: it is not terribly imaginative.

During the screening of this film one scary event did happen. At the Arclight Dome Theater the curtains mysteriously shut mid-screening, leaving the viewers in undirected darkness for a questionable time. During this episode, providing more speculative excitement then the entire film, a co-audience guy and girl argued their way towards a break-up. Therefore, save your money and dump your significant other this Halloween. A break-up proves more terrifying than the conclusion’s breaking arm, even with a sound effect rendered protruding of bones and tendons.

Zero stars out of five.