Saw: The Final Chapter DVD review
After six years and seven movies, it seems that the trapdoor on the Saw franchise has finally closed. But is The Final Chapter a sequel too far? Here’s Carley’s DVD review...
Following up directly from the last movie, we see Jigsaw’s protégé, Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), locked in a reverse bear trap at the hands of Jigsaw’s ex-wife, Jill (Betsy Russell). He, of course, escapes, because what would this movie be without its main villain, and we start off down a gory path of blood, guts, traps and revenge.
Having made his living out of being a Jigsaw survivor, Bobby (Sean Patrick Flanery) is nothing but a charlatan, cashing in on the Jigsaw name while only ever hearing about the traps and victims on the news. This will not do, and much like in previous instalments, he is trapped in a house and has to save the people implicated in making money out of his lies, as well as saving his wife, who is in the final trap.
Meanwhile, having gone to the police and telling them everything, Jill is put under the care of Det. Gibson (Chad Donella), who is trying to end the games once and for all, but tracking down Hoffman proves harder and more deadly then he thinks.
As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, but sadly, for Saw that point had been and gone with the third instalment. By the time this movie rolled around, it had almost become a parody of itself, to the point of it beginning to resemble Scary Movie without the Wayans brothers. Not that it is out and out funny, but that the story and the traps have become so convoluted you can’t help but laugh at some of the scenarios that unfold before you.
Saw isn’t the first to fall into this trap. After all, Freddy Krueger became a hugely likeable figure in The Nightmare On Elm Street franchise and ended up being on things like children’s lunch boxes and in rap videos, lest we forget that Krueger was a paedophile who abused the children on Elm Street and was murdered for such.
This is linked to why this film falls so much in its last hurdle. Unlike having a Freddiy or Jason as your main villain, the key to the entire movie, the character of Jigsaw (played throughout by Tobin Bell) is only on screen for less than five minutes. Throughout the series he has been the lynchpin. In life and in death, his master plan was being unfolded. But here all we get is one flashback, and a pretty rotten one at that.
Although the writers try and move Jigsaw’s story on with Hoffman and Jill, they fall so far short of what is required you may as well not have them in it at all, or at least just keep the final scene in to close the circle up once and for all.
Also wasted is the comeback of first victim Dr Gordon (Cary Elwes). What could have been a fantastic turn was again relegated to very few moments of screen time and a plot twist that felt like it was written on the back of a beer mat one evening down the pub, which is surprising for a film that you require a glossary and a flow chart to understand otherwise.
It’s as if they decided the final film wasn’t really worth the effort, which is a shame, because it could have gone out with far more of a bang than it did.
The biggest annoyance for me with this film, however, was the traps. In each previous instalment, we got something novel and imaginative. This time it was the same old same over and over again, but with less budget spent on it. The colour of the blood was awful and the switch from human to dummy was so noticeable, I felt like I had suddenly turned on The Stepford Children.
Overall, Saw: The Final Chapter is a massive disappointment and will only really be enjoyed by fans of the series who want to see the game come full circle.
Extras include director and producer commentary, some deleted scenes, which really should have stayed on the cutting room floor, and music videos for those of you who like to rock out after a horror movie.
Saw: The Final Chapter is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.
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