Saw Returns with Fifth Installment

Erin Ennis

Every Halloween, movie goers prepare for another sequel of the ever popular Saw franchise. Since 2004, horror fans have watched as the Jigsaw Killer (Tobin Bell) expanded the normal idea of revenge and sought to teach lessons to the world’s worst people. His traps were ingenious, his apprentices unbelievable, and the motions of the movie always played out to leave the audience guessing. This year, in its fifth installment, Saw V was compelling and original while still giving its fans all the answers they asked for and more.

Saw V picked up exactly where Saw IV, and I guess you could say Saw III, left off. Detective Hoffman is revealed as a Jigsaw apprentice, Jigsaw is dead, and FBI Agent Strahm is locked in a makeshift operating room after attempting to solve the crimes. The agencies are facing off against each other, both believing they helped to solve the Jigsaw Killer cases. Of course, there is also the game, with five people stuck in a terrible situation with no way out but to watch a video of Billy the puppet and attempt to survive to the end of the puzzles.

Now I won’t go about spoiling the movie for anyone, at least not anything that is not already in the previews, but I can promise that the traps in Saw V are gory beyond all belief. All of the traps also had a mental component to them, taking a step away from the downright bloodbath of traps that took up much of Saw III. Head-inclosing tanks, glass boxes, and a trap that makes people work against their instincts provide ample opportunities for those facing “the game” to make it out alive. As can be expected many don’t, and Saw V does not fail to provide the audience with plenty of deaths and blood.

However, for once all the dying seemed acceptable, due to an eight minute conversation between Jigsaw and Detective Hoffman that had me literally at the edge of my seat. Fans and critics of the series alike can agree that Tobin Bell was a perfect cast for the delusional Jigsaw and his discussion, which focused on his need to passively kill and the purpose of rehabilitation, was one of the finest insights into the character yet.

Oh yeah, and did I mention the answers? For once, a movie (or TV show, or any medium for that matter) answered the questions it left open in previous installments. Saw V went back and revisited all the other Saw movies in an exciting and interesting way and answered all the questions that most avid fans had lying in the pits of their stomachs when the fourth installment’s credits rolled.

So really, Saw V did everything it was supposed to. It was not amazing, not that any of us fans really thought it would be. It’s the fifth movie, after all. But it answered the questions it needed, acted as the connective strand between all the other installments, had great traps, great escapes (yes, someone does escape a Jigsaw trap), and just the right amount of gore. Oh, and the perfect entry into Saw VI. So, if you like the Saw franchise, go check out Saw V this Halloween if you dare to play the game. And remember…always trust Jigsaw to give you the right answers. You’ll understand once you see the movie!