Author’s Note: All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.
Article written by Maggie K. Ward
Saw II continues Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) story and, like a true horror sequel, promises more death and gore. New twists are added to the story, and small characters are given bigger roles.
A group of strangers wake in a house with poison coursing through their veins. Unbeknown to them, there is one thing they have in common: Detective Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), a sleazy cop that framed all the victims for crimes they did not commit. Each room in the house has a game for one of the victims to play in order to win an antidote to the poison that is slowly killing them all.
The biggest variable in this story is people. Human interaction is unpredictable. When faced with death, people will do anything to survive. Xavier (Franky G) is probably one of the most frightening characters in any film I have ever seen. He’s hostel and won’t think twice about killing someone to save his own skin. Oh, by the way, he yields a baseball bat with nails sticking out of it. The first glimpse into his unstable mind is shown when he enters the room designed for him. For his game, he is to dig through a pit of syringes in order to find a key to the safe that holds his antidote. He insists someone else find it for him, and throws Amanda (Shawnee Smith), a drug addict, into the pit.
The audience learns more about Jigsaw in Saw II. A dying cancer patient, John tests people, and ultimately forces survivors to appreciate the lives they are throwing away. Jigsaw plays a game with Detective Matthews, and asks him to merely listen to him. Throughout the film, the story cuts between Jigsaw telling his story and the victims in the house. Matthews fails his test because his rage takes the better of him. He just can’t listen. Due to his failure, Jigsaw leads him to the house and locks him in the very bathroom Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) were chained in during the original film.
I absolutely love that the continued story in Saw II comes back to the original set. Amanda’s goal during the game is to keep Detective Matthew’s son, Daniel (Erik Knudsen) alive. While fleeing the monster known as Xavier, she leads him to the bathroom and attempts to lock them in. It is here where the viewers learn just how scary Xavier is. He cuts the skin from the back of his next to retrieve the number that is a piece of the combination to another safe with an antidote.
This part of the movie is edited quite well. It cuts between Daniel and Amanda’s escape and Detective Matthew’s search for his son. They are in the same location, but something is wrong. In Matthew’s eyes, the house is dark and bodies litter the house. His son is nowhere to be seen; yet they are in the same location. Here’s one of the fun Saw twists. The footage of the victims in the house was recorded. It already happened, and his son was “in a safe and secure state.” If Matthew’s could have played his game correctly, he would have been rewarded with his son, tied up and waiting in a safe behind Jigsaw’s desk. Due to his failure, he is left for dead in the bathroom from the original movie.
There is certainly more blood and gore in this film than the original, though that is to be expected. I love the scene where Addison (Emmanuelle Vaugier) stupidly reaches her arms through blades to grab a syringe. The dumbfounded look on her face is priceless when she realizes she is stuck. With blood dripping done her arms, gravity takes effect and cause the sick trap to tighten on her arms.
The large majority of sequels do not live up to the originals. You will more than likely hear more complains and disliking coming from me as I review the rest of the Saw franchise for Blood Sucking Geek’s Ultimate Gore-A-Thon. The movies will be bloodier and stupider. Thankfully, the second installment is, in my opinion, one of the better horror sequels I’ve seen. Too bad the rest of the franchise didn’t live up to the original.
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