Saw The Final Chapter
Director: Kevin Greutert
Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell
Review by Brian M. Sammons
After seven films, you ought to know if the Saw flicks are for you. As for my opinion on the franchise that has probably stayed around way past its expiration date … I really dug the first one, thought the second was ok, and from there they are of varying quality. But how does this latest one compare to all the goretastic Saws that came before?
Sadly it would be on the bottom of that barrel of blood and guts. The premise behind these movies is just tired. The story is needlessly convoluted and if you haven’t been following all of the Saw films then you just might be scratching your head at times when a dramatic reveal happens and you’re left thinking, “Who’s that?” Even the real stars of the show, the deathtraps, seem silly or worse: boring. That’s like a slasher flick with lame kills; no good will come from it.
The story, such as it is, has a bad guy abducting people and sticking them in deadly traps which cause them to kill and maim themselves. Really, that’s it. Well there is one nice bit about a survivor who escaped the traps in the past writing a book about his harrowing experience. Problem is, the author is lying about the whole thing and that pisses off the bloodthirsty baddie to no end. As for the mandatory twist ending these movies all have, this one is exceptionally unbelievable. That’s really saying something when you consider that the endings have been getting more and more outrageous and silly since the third film when they killed off the one interesting character of the entire series, the evil trap master, Jigsaw. Hmm, I bet the producers were kicking themselves after that.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack by Lionsgate has a few bells and whistles to (hopefully) send off the Saw franchise in style. There are two audio commentary tracks by the producers and the writers, but the director oddly doesn’t have one. Maybe that’s because the Hollywood rumor mill says he was forced into directing this movie under threat of violating a contract, when he was all set to direct Saw‘s latest challenger, and arguably better movie, Paranormal Activity 2. One can only imagine what fun his commentary would have been. There are the usual deleted scenes, extended scenes, and trailers. There are also five music videos which seems to be an odd, but an okay addition I guess.
Perhaps the best extra is something called “52 Ways to Die.” It is a video retrospective showcasing all the various traps used in the all the Saw films to date. But really, with that being the only featurette, the disc does feel a bit light in the extras department.
Finally there is a 3D version of this Blu-ray, appropriately titled Saw 3d, for all you early adapters who have plucked down your cold hard cash for a 3D TV. However since I so very badly hope that 3D TVs don’t catch on, I do not have one and so I cannot comment on how this flick looks with blood and gore flying off your screen.
In summation, Saw is a very dead horse that has been beaten so hard that it’s only but a smear on the ground. Worse yet, this Final Chapter is easily the weakest of the bunch with bad acting, uninspired direction, and sadly silly traps. I cannot recommend this film, but if you are a fan of the previous Saw flicks then you might as well get this one too, if only to complete your set. Here’s hoping that unlike Friday The 13th, this Final Chapter really is final.