Saw VI (2009)

Horror, Mystery
Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston, Betsy Russell
Agent Strahm is dead and framed while Hoffman continues John's legacy while Jill carries out John's final request.
It won't earn the franchise many new fans, but Saw VI is a surprising step up for what has become an intricately grisly annual tradition.
  • Lionsgate Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 23 Oct 2009 Released:
  • 26 Jan 2010 DVD Release:
  • $27.7M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Puts the train back on the rails.8/10
I am going to say it up front. The Saw series is a guilty pleasure of mine. That being said the last couple have not really engaged me all that much. After this one though, consider me back in the fold. Longtime series editor turned first time director Kevin Greutert has recharged the series and injected something these films have lacked since the beginning: humor.

Saw VI starts with a bang. You know right off the bat that this isn't the same dead serious almost somber type of Saw film you're used to. I'm going to give Greutert and company the benefit of the doubt here and assume that this is by design. You know when Jigsaw is putting people in traps for smoking too much that your tongue should be firmly planted in cheek. This film is also much more open and colorful than previous films. After the claustrophobic Saw V that seemed to take place in only three different rooms this is a welcome change of pace. Also the traps here are much more inventive than V and maybe even IV (nothing will best III in my mind for sheer over the top-ness). The amount of twists and surprises is also plentiful and really do help bring the game full circle. This is definitely not the transition film that the last one was and it really left me to wonder where exactly they can go from here. The twists and turns of the plot are not something I want to give away as its part of the fun but suffice to say if you've stuck with the series up until now you won't feel gipped as you walk out of the theater. The film follows Hoffman as he tries to stay one step ahead of the FBI while conducting a game involving John Kramer's insurance broker William who is put through a series of tests involving his co-workers. The film moves at a breakneck pace cutting back and forth between the two main plot threads while also throwing in the now famous Saw flashbacks to fill in the gaps of all the past movies. I was never bored and special mention has to be given to Greutert for really keeping this thing from getting bogged down in the procedural aspects that really plagued the last few films. This is balls to the wall entertainment and it delivers while also winking and nodding along the way. Saw also gets extremely topical here for the first time and the main thrust and theme of this film will hit home to anyone who even has a passing knowledge of current affairs in this country.

The only negatives I can really point out in the film is some of the suspect acting but again this might be done on purpose through the director's eyes to inject some humor without resorting to having Jigsaw or Hoffman crack jokes Freddy Krueger style while they dispense moral justice. We haven't gotten there yet, maybe Saw X. The other problem I had was that some of the back story really pushed the suspension of disbelief but I guess I shouldn't nit-pick because that has been a problem as far back as Saw II and is needed to stretch out this far anyway.

All in all this is easily the best Saw since the 2nd one and I am glad to see the series get back on track after the CSI elements of the last two films. This is Saw how I like it: down and dirty and over the top. Bring on Saw VII!
SAW finally redeems itself.8/10
Coming back from the midnight viewing, I am seriously shocked. I remember this time last year writing a review for SAW V, and from first impressions, I enjoyed it. Digging deeper though after-wards, I realized how much was wrong. This time however, several friends came along, avid fans of disliking the newer installments. Well, I am happy to say, they finally did something right.

The very first thing I noticed that was different was the pacing of the movie. The opening scene is a trap. I will not reveal who, or why for that matter, you pay good money to find out after all. Though after that, the movie takes a very different tone. While everyone probably is used to the nature of SAW not wasting any time, they took a different approach for the sixth installment.

We begin to follow where SAW V left off, Hoffman emerging victorious, or so it may seem. And soon enough, the introduction of our newest test subject, William. It's hard to get into the character without spoiling anything, so if I seem vague, you know why. William is an insurance agent, the vice president of his company as a matter of fact. In that, he made a formula on how to determine who should be eligible for health insurance. Needless to say, John Kramer was a former associate of his.

Jill, the ex-wife of the infamous Jigsaw Killer was also presented a box. The box plays a large role this time around and again, I will not spoil it. Her role in the grand scheme of things is further explained and finally understood. Everything between her past with John, her present with Hoffman, and if she truly is part of the scheme, or just another person wanting to escape it all.

The story is nice refresher from the original pace and nicely executed. Acting this time around as well was great.

My only complaint is how even though the ending will surprise you, there has been so much exposed through previous installments, you feel less than shocked. Those who remember previous SAW's will understand what I mean by shock.

There is a lot answered this time around, near everything actually. Be it the letter from SAW III, Hoffman's true intentions, Jill's involvement, and Jigsaw's grand scheme, everything will be fully explained this time around. I highly recommenced this SAW, especially if you want to give it that one last chance to see if it can be saved. Personally, I find it redeeming and if they continue with refreshing courses such as this, SAW could go on forever.
Huge improvement8/10
I didn't really enjoy Saw V. I found it had too many flashbacks and the movie itself just felt like an excuse to make another Saw film.

However, Saw VI was a huge improvement over the last. The story was more interesting and the twists and turns were quite intriguing. One little problem i have with this film is that they went way too overboard with the blood and gore in this one, but i suppose that nowadays, thats what the Saw films are all about, which is a shame, considering the first film started off as a psychological thriller.

Apart from that, the film was quite enjoyable and there's definitely some little secrets that they will be able to use for more sequels. Bring on Saw VII i say!
Oh Thank God...9/10
I remember that feeling i had when watching the first Saw movie. At first i walked in with the notion from the trailer that it was going to be some lame "torture" movie... I then remember walking out afterwards going "OMG...OMG....OMG..." When i first heard they were making a second one, i was extremely happy. Then i walked out of Saw 2 feeling empty.. like i had just watched a lame cash in sequel. For whatever reason i kept coming back.. Premiere day... I'd be there to watch the next one. Saw 3 i left feeling way better then the 2nd one.. The 4th one i remember walking out going "Wtf.. what a lame new jigsaw..". The 5th one i had the distinct thought "Omg.. that was just a total filler movie and nothing was gained from it..." Six i didn't exactly have high hopes for...

But Thank... GOD... Saw 6 is not only just a good sequel but its actual a great movie on its own. The moral dilemma William faces as part of "his" game throughout the movie... real powerful choices. The traps (as always..) gory as all hell.. but the emotion behind the decisions and ending of all the traps.. sends a shiver down my spine. And the ending twist AND scene... I wont spoil it but my GOD.. You thought agent Straham had a powerful will to live in that intro scene to 5, You ain't seen nothing yet.

Mainly though.. The story.. One thing this chronicle of the series does nicely as well, is tie up SO many questions that have been still hanging from way back to even Saw 3 (with a couple of new ones added just for the next ones..). I found that even though i thought 4 and 5 were average on their own... After seeing this one, it amplified and made them.. i don't know.. make sense.

Just like a jigsaw.. as each piece is layed down... the entire picture starts to make sense. Bring on Saw 7!!!!!
Jigsaw says "Vote Yes on Healthcare Reform"8/10
"Saw" was never a franchise that was designed to last. The first film made a point of killing off every main character save one who was already dying of an inoperable brain tumor. But, when a movie grosses 100 times its budget filmmakers tend to find untapped wells of ingenuity.

"Saw VI" tells a story that is almost certainly incomprehensible to those who have not seen the previous five films. The entire plot hinges on the reveal of an element first introduced in "Saw III" and details the rise of a character who made his debut as a glorified extra. The entire twist ending is predicated upon one's memory of a secondary character who is never even on screen during this feature except during a brief flashback. It's some straight up "Star Trek" level minutia.

Because of this, a plot summary is useless. You either know what to expect, in which case it is best to see the movie completely cold, or you've already determined that you don't care. Suffice it to say, John "Jigsaw" Kramer and Amanda Young are still dead, (as they have been since part three) and Agent Hoffman is still on the loose, trying to teach more people to appreciate life. Then things get complicated.

"Saw" has always worked under a strange moral code, espousing a bizarre brand of carpe diem philosophy spoken by serial killer who seems to think that he is saving people by throwing them in pits of used needles or forcing them to cut off their feet. This philosophy has long been an albatross for the series because Jigsaw's ideas are, to put it bluntly, completely idiotic. The result of these tests would likely be a crippling case of post-traumatic stress disorder, not a moment of truth.

"Saw VI" works hard to solve this problem. For the first time in series history Jigsaw is shown to be maybe the slightest bit mentally unsound. This is a small but important step as the series makes infinitely more sense and is far more chilling if Jigsaw is taken as a David Berkowitz type instead of some sort of blood and guts Buddha. Simultaneous to this, the filmmakers have finally created a cast of victims who might well deserve their fate. Thinking back, it's actually quite surprising that it took five sequels to get to a trap where loan sharks are forced to contend with Shylock's infamous demand of "A pound of Flesh".

While many have anticipated a jump to the supernatural for several entries, few if any guessed that Saw would ever become a political story. You see, "Saw VI" is just as much about the current healthcare reform debate as it is about soap opera plot twists. In one scene Jigsaw literally says the words "Medical decisions should be made by Doctors and patients" before going on to equate HMO's with murderous thugs. And while the political polemic elements are perhaps a bit overcooked, they do imply a level of effort on the part of the filmmakers that goes beyond the call of duty. The social consciousness of Jason Voorhees' sixth outing began and ended with a happy face symbol made of blood.

Longtime series editor Kevin Greutert moves to the director's chair for this entry and his experience with the franchise shines through. He has clearly been planning for this opportunity for quite some time, and he makes the most of it, combining the indie grunge of the original with the flashy scene transitions of the sequels all while expanding the color palette, steadying the ADHD afflicted cinematography and toning down the ultra-violence.. This is almost certainly the best looking part six the horror genre has ever seen. Keeping pace with the direction is a slick, fast, and occasionally inventive screenplay by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, who handedly outdo their work on the previous two films.

Everything that was wrong with the five previous films is still wrong here. The sets still look like those of a movie made for about a million dollars, the actors are mostly second rate and the logic is tenuous within a real world scenario. The dialogue is occasionally as cringe inducing as the gory set pieces and the script makes excessive use of expository tape recordings in place of legitimate character development. And yet, I had a damn good time.

This film is easily the best since part two, and somehow actually made me want to see part seven. For those already invested in the series "Saw VI" is a Halloween treat. It's smarter than the previous three and it features some of the series most interesting traps. It even gives you a little something to talk about after the credits roll. Most will hate it sight unseen, but those who show up to watch, "Saw VI" is better than it has any right to be.