Saw VI returns series to its gory glory

The plot of Saw VI, aside from answering many questions left unanswered in the previous films, is also very timely in light of the current economic crunch and all the debate and outrage over health care. These hot-button topics work nicely into the overall plot of the series and even serve to help the audience connect with some of the characters on a level that was unachievable in Saw II, for example, because of its focus on shocking amounts of gore rather than the storyline.

By Cody Naylor

Staff Writer

The plot of Saw VI, aside from answering many questions left unanswered in the previous films, is also very timely in light of the current economic crunch and all the debate and outrage over health care. These hot-button topics work nicely into the overall plot of the series and even serve to help the audience connect with some of the characters on a level that was unachievable in Saw II, for example, because of its focus on shocking amounts of gore rather than the storyline.

Without giving too much away, Saw VI focuses on health insurance company president William Easton (Peter Outerbridge) who the Jigsaw killer John Kramer (Tobin Bell) feels is responsible for hundreds of deaths because of the formula he developed to determine who qualifies for insurance coverage and who does not. For his crimes against humanity, William is forced to play a game that literally puts the lives of those he is closest to his hands.

Running this game, in place of the deceased Kramer, is Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), whose own story is also fleshed out over the course of the movie. While carrying out Kramer’s last wishes, Hoffman is also caught up in an F.B.I. case centering on the Jigsaw murders that he must help move forward while trying to avoid being discovered out as Kramer’s accomplice.

We also see a shift in the character of John Kramer himself in this film, despite the fact that he died in the third movie. In the first five installments in the Saw series, despite his gruesome and psychotic methods, the audience almost cannot help but see Kramer as a dying man with a near-divine mission to make people appreciate the meaning and value of their lives. However, in Saw VI much more is revealed in regard to Jigsaw’s motive to “teach” that makes him appear much more human and real.

The effectiveness of Kramer’s brutal games is also brought into question. Within the first ten minutes of the Saw VI, a character who has just survived one of the traps screams, “Look at me! What am I supposed to learn from this?” This poignant statement also serves to make Kramer appear more flawed than in previous films.

Dramatic plot points aside, Saw VI also does not shy away from the unabashed gore that really put the series on the map. The audience will probably be squirming around in their seats within the first minute of the film and the tension does not let up until the climactic, albeit slightly predictable finale.

Fans of the series who were driven away by the more recent entries in the saga will be happy to note that Saw VI is actually much more similar to the original Saw and Saw III than any of the other films which, considering those are two of the stronger installments, is a very good thing. The ending really only serves as a set-up for the rumored final entry in the series, but Saw VI is full of the trademark gore and involving drama fans have come to expect and contains enough surprising plot twists to definitely warrant a look.

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