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Horror reaches new lows with “Saw V

Ryan Raffin | Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Provocative. Original. Well-acted. These are all words that could rightly be used to describe the brilliant 1995 thriller “Se7en.” None of those could be applied to 2004’s “Saw,” a shameless rip-off of “Se7en,” minus all subtlety.

Unfortunately, the annual sequels got progressively worse, culminating in the utterly atrocious, recently released fifth entry, “Saw 5.”

Make no mistake; this is one of the worst movies of all time. It’s not comically bad – it’s insultingly bad. Watching it is akin to seeing a video of someone vomiting for 90 minutes, minus the sincerity that act entails. Coincidentally, you might feel like puking after seeing this marathon of stereotypes and pointless violence. Hopefully, it will be forgotten by all, though the standards for terrible filmmaking have been raised so high that such bliss seems unlikely.

“High School Musical” seems like “Casablanca” next to this.

Nothing about this movie is good, unless it is compared to, say, contracting terminal cancer. The cinematography, which has been gimmicky and cheap throughout the series, has regressed to the point that anyone with even the slightest knowledge of filmmaking could do better. The screenwriters didn’t even bother to make compelling characters, and the acting reflects such paper-thin characterizations.

“Vengeful police officer.” “Rich-kid drug addict.” “Sarcastic journalist.” “Criminal mastermind.” Those are complete descriptions of four characters in the film.

The plot is incredibly hackneyed, and impossible to understand for anyone who has not seen the previous four instalments. Half the movie takes the form of flashbacks, and it becomes nearly impossible to chronologically order the events depicted. Main character Jigsaw died at the end of “Saw 3, “but still appears in flashbacks. Why? Most likely, to make retroactive additions to past events in the series, thus stretching out the plot and allowing a maximum amount of sequels. Plotlines are left dangling, presumably to be resolved in the subsequent sixth, seventh, or even eighth editions.

Who will bring Jigsaw’s successor to justice? What was in the box left for Jigsaw’s widow? Or more importantly – who cares, and to what institution can we commit them?

The clichés – sorry, characters – often make completely nonsensical decisions. This is by far the most infuriating thing about the film, though singling out that feature is like picking your favorite kind of car crash. For example, rather than wait to be rescued in a safe room where the trap has been already triggered, the group ventures to their deaths in the adjoining rooms. They do this multiple times. No one alive would make the decisions these people do.

The only way this movie could have ended on a satisfying note would be if everyone in it died. The characters are that un-appealing.

Unfortunately, this does not happen, as the producers need to put out “Saw 6” next October, because they don’t have enough money already. This film is not art; it is tripe that somehow manages to undershoot the ever-plummeting lowest common denominator. If violent, artfully produced film is what you want, go see “Taxi Driver,” go see “No Country for Old Men,” go see anything but “Saw.”

If you had the misfortune to see “Saw 5,” you almost certainly felt stupider after viewing it. If you enjoyed it, you have taste so horrendous that your intelligence should be questioned.

Do not see this movie. Do not make the mistake of humouring a friend and accompanying them to see it. Smack anyone who suggests seeing it. You will never get the hour and a half you spend viewing it back. You will never get your ticket price back.

A closing note: Scene only viewed this movie because of a friend who inexplicably enjoys the entire series. Unfortunately, the lowest score Scene can give is half a shamrock out of four, which is far more than “Saw 5” deserves. This film is an abortion.