Repetitive But Gory, Saw’s Final Chapter Provides A Scare

By Tyler Manoukian

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This weekend, the seventh and final chapter of the “Saw” series was released with much anticipation as one of the greatest series of all time concluded. Released Halloween weekend, the killer puts on a mask of his own and scares the pants off audiences everywhere.

The movie has been pushed and hyped for the last few months with the intention of delivering one of the scariest films ever. The flick continues with the latest installment of the decorated series. “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter” brings another series of deadly traps and games with more mashed and mutilated bodies than actual survivors.

The movie focuses on Jill Tuck, played by Betsy Russell, the wife of the original Jigsaw, and his handpicked successor, Agent Mark Hoffman, played by Costas Mandylor. At the end of Saw VI, Jill placed a reverse bear trap on Hoffman’s head with the intent to kill him, but Hoffman managed to escape the trap angrier than ever at Jill and Jigsaw’s deceit. With new games, new traps and new bodily torture tactics, Hoffman kidnapped a writer who capitalized on self-help named Bobby Dagen, played by Sean Patrick Flannery. Along with Dagen, his lawyer, wife, publicist and manager are all captured in Jigsaw’s newest game.

“Saw” takes on its alpha role as a primary horror film in the modern generation. This film represents a new type of horror genre recently uncovered. In the past, the horror genre meant a serial killer hunting down victims and killing them on site. “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th” were good examples of this type. “Saw” brings on a new sub-genre where the hunter captures his victims and toys with them. A new type of mutilation has arisen from all of this with new and intense slasher scenes.

Shooting the film in 3D will only increase its financial success, which fans will ultimately flock to theaters to see. What remaining fans the movie has, they can expect the same type of action as in previous installments. The 3D aspect makes the film a lot more popular and desirable to see. Intrigue and audience curiosity will be the foundation of this movie’s success as it lacks a creative direction.

The 3D cinematography will turn out to be worth it for investors because of its insane graphic capabilities. If the film’s plot line will not grab the attention of viewership, 3D will certainly draw a crowd. “Saw” is a great 3D film – blood splatter comes out into the audience almost as if you can touch it. It puts you in the movie, really gets you involved in and places you right into the action. However, one thing that does not really work out for the film was its lack of 3D display. While most of the scenes are 3D, there were some, like the death scenes, that really do nothing for the film. There is an extreme absence of 3D cinematography during these parts. Sometimes it is hard to tell that there is any 3D footage. In this sense, many fans will be disappointed.

After seven films, though, there is only so much of the plot to build on. While all the films have taken the same type of boring plotline – being captured and put in a game – the guts and gore are more grotesque than ever. Starting with a gruesome opening scene, this time the lives of three are on the line. Faced with the decision to either kill his friend or save the girl that has been playing the two of them, each man must decide what is most important. Fans will soon realize that the movie is just like the others.

Kevin Greutert directed the film and coincidentally was offered the chance to direct last week’s release of “Paranormal Activity 2” before Lionsgate chose to exercise the option in his contract to do the final movie.

In terms of acting, Costas Mandylon is once again fantastic in his roles as Jigsaw 2.0 and an FBI Agent. His acting is the brightest spot of this movie as he blows the audience away with his manner. A strong build and a serious demeanor, we are able to see his capabilities as an actor. This film could open up some great opportunities for this guy.

All the others played good supporting roles in the movie, and as any horror film, did not need a star to draw a crowd. Betsy Russell did great in her secondary role as well. Perhaps the biggest star in the film is Tobin Bell. His role as John Kramer can never be underestimated. He holds the entire movie together. Even though he is dead, coming back as a spirit-type who offers his advice to his young protégé and talks to his wife, Jill, it is obvious that his support in the film is the glue that kept this birdhouse together. So much of this film is dependent on John’s plans. Most of what transpires is the work of John in his will.

John also provided 90 percent of the back story in the movie. Every action taken is under John’s past or present guidance and that is what makes this a unique film in regards to the rest of the series. While the series gets repetitive, this guidance makes the film complete.

Like any sequel, you must see the other previous six movies in order to understand this one. Ideally, this movie is be good for fans of the series and viewers looking for a scare. Viewers who do not know the series well will be very confused and should not see this movie. Watch the others and then go see this and it will be well worth it.

Tyler Manoukian can be reached at [email protected]