SAW VI (Kevin Greutert). 90 minutes. For venues, times and trailers, see Movies. Rating: NN
If there's a horror series more dour and grey than the Saw series, I'm sure I don't want to encounter it.[rssbreak]
Six films in, you'd think someone would be willing to have a little fun with the mechanics, or at least play up the absurdity inherent in a bunch of people being forced to scream their way through various mazes and death traps by a guy who's been dead for the last three pictures.
No such luck. Under the direction of Kevin Greutert, editor of the previous films, Saw VI pursues the franchise's grotty, improbable mission without making a single alteration. The victims plead, the traps spring, the blood flows, the bodies drop. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Picking up right after the final images of Saw V (though chronology doesn't matter all that much to this series), Episode Six finds Jigsaw's current acolyte, homicidal homicide detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), carrying out the purported final pieces of his mentor's elaborate revenge plot. Also involved is Jigsaw's ex (Betsy Russell), who's finally opened the mysterious box she received in the previous film.
Turns out Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), who's been dead since 2006 or so, was a remarkably prescient fellow. This time around, his plan involves exacting his pounds of flesh from predatory lenders and health insurance actuaries. I look forward to Saw VIII, where he'll presumably teach bloody life lessons to tanning bed operators and people who don't compost.
As is the norm for this series, half the action is taken up with flashbacks intended to correct the continuity errors of previous chapters and provide more screen time for Bell's deceased, dissected puppet master.
The other half pertains to the current game, in which a handful of Canadian actors (including Peter Outerbridge as a sweaty executive and Adoration's Devon Bostick as a captive teenager) panic their way through a series of impossibly complicated tests until the requisite shocking twist ending. Except that we've been here so many times before that the shock has long since worn off.