All Gore and No Story

S aw VI, directed by Kevin Greutert, is the latest in the Saw film series, which continues to become less and less plausible yet still vaguely entertaining. The sixth installment follows the same basic plotline as the five films that preceded it. The would-be murderer/vigilante entraps hopeless citizens in situations where they are forced to fight to survive, while simultaneously being punished for crimes they have already committed. The tribulations that the characters are mercilessly dragged through are constantly referred to as “tests” by the Jigsaw killer, John Cramer (played by Tobin Bell), who died at the end of Saw III but is continuously alluded to through flashback.

For the most part, there is a complete lack of character development, which ultimately leaves the audience wondering whether they should be upset that these one-dimensional, villainous characters are being brutally slaughtered. There are no acting performances worth mentioning, as all characters seemed to be oddly blasé and void of emotion throughout the
gruesome endeavors.

Saw VI follows the latest victim of this twisted karma: an executive at an insurance company who once denied Cramer coverage. He is led through several obstacles in the hope that he will be set free, as Jigsaw’s successor struggles to keep his identity hidden from the police. The killings have become sloppier and the lines between right and wrong have been blurred beyond recognition, subsequently leading to an utterly confusing experience. After six films, Jigsaw’s vigilante, righteous killing spree is becoming weaker and weaker.

The Saw films pride themselves on their ability to shock and awe audience members through plot twists. But, because the series has been following this same model of success for so long, the shock, amazement and terror have run their course. However, the creators of Saw still know that the effect of gore is incredibly resonant with audiences. Saw VI uses this fact as a crutch for most of the film.

There is definitely a fair share of cringe-worthy moments, especially in the opening scene, which could be considered too gory and graphic for those with gag reflexes.

Besides the usual blood and gore, the film is lacking in substance, rounded characters and any sense of deeper meaning. Those behind the film seem only to be looking to keep a good thing going by purposely leaving plot holes and conflicts unresolved to continue the series and gain more box office profit.

Saw VI was entertaining in some aspects but ultimately leaves viewers unsympathetic to the plights of any of the characters because of their inability to convey emotion and their one-dimensional features.

Audiences of this film should expect the mediocrity and lack of development that the series has displayed since the second installment.