There’s been a lot of cynicism surrounding the fifth film in the Saw franchise, which comes out today. That cynicism, of course, has been matched toe-to-toe by the filmmakers themselves, as anyone who sat through the horrendous Saws 3 and 4 can testify (this writer has a soft spot for Saw 2…).
But will Saw V be useless? Is it a coincidence that there’s not been a sniff of a press screening? Is it a franchise solely about one weekend a year and then DVD? Or could the fifth movie turn the tide? Here are five reasons it might…
Reason One: There’s new talent behind the camera. Granted, it’s being directed by David Hackl, who did second unit directing work on the third and fourth films in the series, but as we’re looking for some straws to grasp at, this seems a good start.
Reason Two: Less Tobin Bell? We can hope. Has a film series ever clung so loyally to a single character as Saw has to Jigsaw (well, er, apart from Freddy Krueger. And Jason. And, umm, you get the drift…)? Even when he’s dead, it seems to make no difference. Can we shift the focus a bit now, please?
Reason Three: The tagline “You won’t believe how it ends” at least hints that the whole juggernaut might end. It gives us hope.
Reason Four: The first film was great. And working on the theory that if you leave monkeys for long enough, they’ll recreate the works of Shakespeare, there’s at least a minute chance they might recapture what made the Saw franchise so engaging in the first place. That said, it’d take said monkeys millions of years, so our hopes aren’t high.
Reason Five: There’s only one Saw film left. At least that’s the current thinking. And in much the same way that, er, Lost is heading to a conclusion as a result of a finish line being put in place, does this mean the same can be expected of Saw?
To be fair, Saw V looks horrible in many sense, and while its $30m+ inevitable take this weekend may get a seventh and eighth film commissioned, the one certainty is that we’ll all be meeting again this time next year for Saw VI. Sigh…