Film Review: ‘Saw V’

Its authenticity comes from the visceral gore – human blood letting loose from head to toe and entrails being torn asunder. But the elaborate traps designed by Jigsaw to test his victims’ willingness to live are really what make the Saw franchise, and Saw V continues to carry the torch.

Jigsaw, played by Tobin Bell, is once again spectacular in his work as the legendary killer. Bell is able to bring a chilling and philosophical performance to life, and the terror he instills brings this series together.

As Saw IV left off, Detective Mark Hoffman was a secret advocate for Jigsaw’s work. Saw V comes with a straightforward story, unlike Saw IV, and the writers cleverly hook together the previous Saw movies. However, Saw V is less grueling than the previous installments.

This picture starts swinging from the beginning. Twenty-two minutes into the film and you’re already into multiple-person tests. From there, flashbacks tie up loose ends that left viewers with questions from the previous films. Saw lovers will embrace the chance to see the old stuff once again.

One problem this movie encounters is Detective Hoffman. The bar is set too high for the character, played by Costas Mandylor, to be the next creepy Jigsaw. Mandylor doesn’t grab the attention of the viewer and is too dull to be Jigsaw. This is a big letdown.

This horror movie does take an enormous leap in the franchise though. Saw V goes into more detail than the last few Saw movies; the focus is more directly on dialogue than the actual traps. But Saw V does deliver the goods for those only see Saw because of the gruesome murder devices. The set traps are better here than the last two sequels, resulting in some vivid and memorable death scenes. Just like Jigsaw always says, “Oh yes, there will be blood.”

Saw V has a shocking ending that will have you grasping for more Saw.

3 out of 4 stars