Putting the pieces together

Horror junkies have witnessed brutal “games” in which total strangers, who seem to share a common theme in their lives, are forced into playing with hopes of self-realization four times before. Each time, Jigsaw, a prolific serial killer, flawlessly instilled fear into people’s lives. He has bewildered cops and claimed their lives and now, with Jigsaw dead, he is still playing games.

The fifth installment in the Saw series promised to tie together any loose ends that seemed to linger after the conclusion, and twist endings of the previous films. It also promised to provide a gory and enticing plot by bearing the tagline “You won’t believe how it ends.”

True, it does answer all open questions, and further clarifies things people may have been unsure about, since most of the movie is comprised of flashbacks that show how the games were constructed from the first four movies. It also presents another game, but this time, it isn’t orchestrated entirely by Jigsaw.

Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is the last accomplice of Jigsaw to continue the legacy of complicated traps and so-called “games.” After escaping from the warehouse in the fourth movie, his identity is now in danger of being revealed to the FBI and to the division assigned to the “Jigsaw Murders.”

With another detective right on his heels, he must work with what was left behind for him to cover his tracks before anyone can close in on him. In the midst of this chaos, another challenge awaits five more players. These strangers have something in common, and, according to Jigsaw, they must act the opposite way they normally do to escape.

This adds a clever relief to the movie as it shows the endless torture devices and brutal death machines that have always been a trademark of the “Saw” franchise (one which really stands out is a trap that requires the victims to fill a jar up with ten pints of blood to unlock a door).

Among the seedy flashbacks of the roots of Detective Hoffman’s affiliations with the Jigsaw killer and the “game” that seems to be orchestrated by Hoffman, the movie seems to become lost in its own plot. By the end of the movie, not only is a sixth movie set up, but you are left questioning things that happened in this movie, rather than the predecessors.

It would appear in finally putting to rest the ghosts of other movies, the writers seem to want to start over. This may be a good thing, considering the future movies could approach a new direction while taking the themes and motifs of the forerunners to create horror flicks that may actually be more enticing.

The writers seemed to have worked themselves into a quagmire with the first four movies, and had to spend the fifth one creating “ohhhhh’s” and “now I get it’s.”

Without a doubt, the “Saw” movies always provide for a good watch, and now with the ever-continuing plot finally brought together, we can await another chapter in the series which will hopefully be as stunning and jaw-dropping as the first and second movie, rather than monotonous and puzzling like the third and fourth.

You wonder how the director and writer of the first movies feel about all of this. Did he mean for these questions to be answered?