Those already familiar with the Saw series are not going to need an extended introduction for Saw VI, but it can be summarized as saying that it is a fair stretch more inventive than the fifth Saw movie. Those who have not seen any of this series will wonder what you’re missing if this is the first film you see, but nevertheless you can expect to be entertained provided you are all right with rather torturous horror fiascos since Saw is something of the spawning point for most of the torture related horror flicks seen in the past decade.
As far as a story goes, we do actually get one of those for this installment which is something of a surprise since the Saw movies aren’t actually known for in depth tales. You can count on plenty of pain and suffering, but the plot is generally minimal. This time, though, the fan favorite Jigsaw Killer really reinvents the puzzle and gives us some sharp new twists. At the beginning of the movie, the will of the long dead king of booby traps is read and we see, get this – Jigsaw’s widow! That’s right someone actually married this psychopath. The widow is an interesting twist, but even more interesting (WARNING: If you haven’t yet seen Saw VI then this might be a spoiler so skip this paragraph entirely if you don’t want to know)is the fact that Jigsaw had a reason for his madness. Turns out he had a terminal illness and was denied health insurance coverage for an experimental treatment that might have saved him. This means the turn in the screw is revenge and a socially relevant (in the US at least) topic is picked. This reviewer applauds the inventiveness of this particular plot piece and hopes for more along the same level of complexity and meaning.
As far as gore, this is after all a Saw film. You’ll see all sorts of mesmerizing brutality, about thirty shades of blood, arterial and otherwise, right along with crazy traps galore that many people are saying just might be the most inventive of the series. As far as breaking new ground, it is fairly apparent that the series certainly intends to. This is good news because other than The Collector, it doesn’t look like the Jigsaw Killer has much in the way of competition in terms of relevant horror movie anti-heroes. We could use some fresh evil and the more of it we can get, the better. In terms of pop culture, these are the icons our genre is known for.
All told, Saw VI does a pretty impressive job of showing that the Saw franchise might not be a one trick pony. In fact, it appears that the series may have quite a bit of vitality still left within it even after the Jigsaw Killer is long gone. Provided we don’t see any totally 80’s supernatural ‘back from the dead’ kind of twists, who knows how long this recorded, pre-organized mayhem might go on?
Let’s pull for another decade or two, shall we? Any votes for Saw XVIII?