Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Shawnee Smith, Shauna MacDonald, Devon Bostick
Directed by Kevin Greutert
Distributed by Lionsgate
“Please … I’m begging the powers that be … pick up your bat and ball and let this series slip away with what little dignity it has left. I know these pleas are falling on deaf ears since Saw VI is already on the way, but still. Sigh. Who am I kidding? See ya next year. That is unless I opt to do the smart thing and blind myself before October.”
That was how I ended my Saw V DVD review last year. I was just plain done, man. After that abysmal outing I really felt as if this series’ better days had gone the way of the silent film era. Fortunately for fans director Kevin Greutert had different plans for his entry into the franchise, Saw VI. All those involved from the writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan to the now series star Costas Mandylor have done what I thought to be impossible — they made the series interesting again. As far as the Saw franchise goes, this flick is nothing short of a home run.
Things pick up right after the events of Saw V with Jigsaw’s main man, Detective Hoffman (Mandylor), cleaning up the mess left behind by Agent Strahm. Or should we say Agent Strahm’s body? In any event as any fan of these films can tell you, said messes don’t stay tidied up for long. Even in death Jigsaw (played once again to the nines by Tobin Bell, who just seems to get better and better) has more pieces of his puzzle that have yet to be put together. Said pieces lead up to a really savage set of new inventive traps that end up garnering quite the bloodied body count. Though it’s been touted before, this is the entry in which Jigsaw’s plans and motivations truly become revealed. Everything has led up to this one moment. This final game. The blanks of lots of questions present for several films now are finally filled in.
I could tell you more about the story, but screw that! I don’t want to spoil a single gore-soaked moment of it. Let’s just leave it at this … Satisfying is the best way to describe Saw VI. In it we get the majority of the answers we’ve all been waiting for, Tobin Bell is sheer evil genius, and Mandylor finally steps into the role of the villain we all hoped that he would be. Given these types of cues, he could conceivably carry the series for a nice long time. As for the ending … it really leaves you not only wanting more but genuinely interested in seeing where it all goes from here. Let’s just hope that returning Saw V director David Hackl doesn’t end up screwing the next entry up like he did with the fifth. Given that there’s also a new 3D gimmick adding to his possible stumbling blocks, we can only hope for the best and brace for the worst.
Yes, I know. You see the word “unrated” emblazoned on the cover art and are wondering what’s been added. Fear not, Saw VI does not disappoint in bringing on what we’re hoping for. Let’s just say this is a meatier cut than the one we saw in theatres. Though if that’s what you’d prefer, you friggin’ pussy, the theatrical version is also available for purchase separately. That’s right, kids, there are three ways to buy Saw VI — Unrated DVD, Unrated Blu-ray, or R-rated DVD (special features of each are listed below). If you have the tech, the choice is hands down the high definition version. Seriously? It looks amazing. The blacks are deep, the colors vibrant, the image razor sharp, and the 7.1 DTS-HD master audio mix will have every slice and scream reverberating menacingly throughout your home. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell ya!
The unrated DVD and Blu-ray share pretty much the same haul of extras. Exclusive to the Blu-ray are an included copy of the original Saw (also on Blu-ray) so you can “See How it All Began” and of course some neat functionality like Lionsgate Live, which is the studio’s version of BD-Live. This is where you can access bonus content like ringtones, etc. The Blu-ray is also Touch and Metamenu remote enabled, meaning you can access specific bonus stuff directly from your iPhone or iPod touch. The rated DVD has all of the supplemental features of its two cousins except for the two commentary tracks.
Speaking of which — both commentaries, one with Producer Mark Burg and Executive Producers Peter Block and Jason Constantine and the other with Director Kevin Greutert and Screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, are pretty much on par with each other. The good news? They’re both interesting, and after listening to hundreds of these things, let me tell you that’s no easy feat! From there we get two fairly standard making-of featurettes, Jigsaw Revealed and The Traps of SAW VI, which should be very familiar to Saw fans in terms of what type of content to expect, along with a really cool look at the Saw maze from Universal Studios called A Killer Maze: Making SAW GAME OVER. If only attractions like this were available all year. Ah, well. We can live vicariously through this for now. Add on a few music videos and the trailer, and we are finished.
Saw VI is a movie that thickly lays on everything we love about the series. Just leave your smarts at the door. These films are far removed from reality, and if you really try to think about it, none of it makes any sense at all. Still, it’s a ride well worth taking and a great reminder of how good this franchise can be when there are people involved who actually know what they’re doing. Hats off to all those who made it happen. I’ve never been happier to be wrong.
Sing the song proudly, folks! Mandylor! Mandylor! Costas Mandylor!
UNRATED DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
R-RATED THEATRICAL DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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