Author’s Note: All articles on MK Horror contain spoilers.
Article written by Maggie K. Ward
The first time I watched Saw V, I congratulated it for jumping the shark within ten minutes. Ok, the pendulum game was pretty sweet. This game is unwinnable and we are immediately reminded of Amanda’s (Shawnee Smith) games in Saw II. Could this be another one of her games, or does Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) create unwinnable games too?
The shark jumping, however, comes to play with Agent Strahm’s (Scott Patterson) game. His head is trapped inside a glass box that will quickly fill with water. The joke is on Strahm because there is no way to win this game. He must simply drown. But, he finds a pen in his pocket, stabs himself in the neck, and breathes. I’m not in the medical field, but I don’t think this is even remotely plausible. The thing about fiction is, the audience must accept the world to which that are presented, or the story is useless. If I can’t believe Strahm would survive his game, I can’t believe much of the rest of the film. Way to suck Saw V.
The big game in Saw V starts with five strangers in a room with survival as their goal. Now, I’m not sure if my attention to detail has improved, or if the writing is starting to get sloppy, but I wasn’t surprised at the big twist. Jigsaw said, “Five will become one with a common goal of survival.” Doesn’t this mean they must work together to survive? Yet, the two remaining are shocked when this concept is brought to their attention at the end of the film.
But, I keep telling myself “common sense doesn’t make a good horror film.” Otherwise, characters would stop taking showers in movies, they’d stop yelling “Who’s there?” and they would stop sticking their heads up their a**es.
What some people may find interesting about Saw V is Agent Strahm’s research of the past Jigsaw cases. This shows the audience how former victims were captured and set in place to play their game. Paul (Mike Butters) from the original Saw film, for example, was captured by both Jigsaw and Hoffman and placed in a cage full of razor wires. He also assisted in the set up for the game in Saw II.
I have a strong feeling Saw V is the beginning of the downfall of the Saw franchise. Five people endure a game where they are supposed to work together to survive. Yet, what have these people done to deserve the audience’s sympathy? They are all crooks, and fairly one-dimensional characters. I could care less if they survive or if they die. How could such a large chunk of a movie be so worthless? Why do I care? Looking a step further: Jigsaw was a cleaver person, and quite fascinating. Killing him may have been the worst thing the franchise could have done. We don’t care about Hoffman. As Detective Matthews said in Saw III, “You’re not Jigsaw b*tch!”
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