Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery
Directed by Kevin Greutert
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
The words “Game Over” have been uttered several times by different characters throughout the Saw franchise, and after the really stinky Saw V we thought for sure the series had gone the way of the saber tooth tiger. Then it happened. Saw VI came out and literally did the impossible by getting the series back on track. Director Kevin Greutert defied the odds and as a result was asked back to deliver, this, what Lionsgate ensures will be the “last entry” into their storied franchise. As if you could ever keep a good ghoul down!
Essentially, Saw: The Final Chapter, as it’s known now for this release, focuses on the exploits of Jigsaw survivor Bobby Dagen (Flanery) a self-help guru who has gained celebrity for his books and appearances and time spent teaching other “survivors” how to cope with the nightmares they’ve been put through via the legacy of the hardest working corpse in horror. Of course this gets the attention of Jigsaw’s partner in crime, Detective Hoffman (Mandylor), and before you can blink, flesh is flayed, entrails are flying, and this film is looking to send the franchise out with a bang.
Therein lies the problem, however … said bang turns out to be the most sensationalistic set of traps yet — made even more juicy in this unrated cut. Things so intricate that any and all logic is thrown out the window never to be applied. What made Saw VI so good was that along with its own set of unrealistic killings, it actually had something to say. A good story to go along with all that delicious grue. Saw 3D, while an immense amount of fun, seems more content with just upping the body count and flying way over-the-top to the point of completely ignoring Jigsaw’s message in favor of turning into a straight slasher flick by the film’s end. Don’t get me wrong; it was easy to enjoy Hoffman’s stab-you-in-the-throat-a-thon, but the whole thing just felt as if it were totally outside of the franchise’s element. Still, the movie does a good job of tying up most of the many threads and subplots, leaving only a couple hanging. Just in case, I guess!
The Blu-ray looks good. Damned good. It handles the film’s dark palette well with deep, rich black levels along with some truly intense splashes of color … and blood. In 1080p the film’s scenes of violence are as razor sharp as the implements our resident maniac uses to maim his victims. Couple these moments of delightful devilry with the 7.1 DTS-HD master audio track, and every bone-snapping moment is rendered in nauseatingly good detail. The DVD fares well, too, but really, as usual, there’s no comparison.
In terms of bonus materials each package (of which there are three available – DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D) shares the same special features except for the fifteen-minute featurette 52 Ways to Die, in which some of the series’ key creators sit down and talk up their favorite traps. Once they’re done, we get a pretty cool numbered kill montage that spans the series. This feature is only available in the high definition packages so sorry, DVD owners. Time to upgrade! Also included are two commentary tracks, of which we highly recommend the writers’ track featuring scribes Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. These two shed a lot of light as to what was going on with the film, which was originally conceived as two separate features, as well as give away a few secrets. Who were the pig-men who showed up toward the end? Listen and you’ll find out their identities. Really good stuff. Add on several music videos, six deleted scenes which offer a bit more Jigsaw, and a trailer; and we are done. Not a bad haul at all.
If you really think this will be the last we hear from Jigsaw, we have several copies of Freddy’s Dead and Friday 4 to sell you. Characters as endearing as everyone’s favorite psychotic cancer patient will always find a way to get back into our nightmares, whether it be another sequel or the most horrifying possibility of all … a remake.
“Game Over”? Like hell it is!
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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