Saw VI Blu-ray review

The best Saw movie since the second one. Possibly, but Saw VI still has its problems. Simon checks out the Blu-ray...

Chances are that, if you’re sat there reading this review, then you’ve still retained some interest in the state of the Saw franchise. That’s likely to be either because you’ve enjoyed the last few, heavily-maligned films, or that you want the franchise to hark back to the first, the one that got us all interested in this in the first place.

I really liked the first Saw movie, could cope with the second, but have become more and more disinterested in the franchise since, as any idea it had became increasingly buried under an avalanche of gore and some of the most distractingly bad editing I’d seen in a major motion picture. It’s not that the editing was technically bad, it’s just that it consistently got in the way of the film.

My hopes weren’t through the roof, then, at learning that the editor of the earlier films, Kevin Greutert, was making his directorial debut with Saw VI. And yet, I find myself at times pleasantly surprised by what he’s done with the film. It’s a great irony that it’s taken the man who was partly responsible for the editing mayhem of the last couple of movies to sort it out, but Saw VI is far more conventional, and actually benefits from it. It doesn’t inject flashy cuts at every minute. It actually lets you sit back and work out – without having your brain battered – what’s going on.

I might be wrong, but it feels as if the need to splosh the camera with gore at every moment has gone, too. The franchise’s traps have some degree of choice involved in them again. There’s a feeling that some basics have been returned to, and that you’re left to sit back and judge the film on the quality of its narrative, and how well it’s ultimately executed.

Ad – content continues below

And therein lies the problem. Because even given the light running time here, Saw VI doesn’t have a story that can effectively paper over half of it. It’s effectively the tale of Jigsaw’s legacy being continued and bad people making choices that reflect those they’ve been making in real life.

This time it’s health insurance in the film’s crosshairs, and for 40 minutes or so, it was all working quite well. But then it felt like a decent episode of a TV show – and I wonder if that’s where the franchise should live once this Halloween’s Saw 3D is out of the gate – rather than anything worthy of a full length feature.

Sadly, for those looking to jump back in after skipping a couple of films, some foreknowledge of what’s gone on in the last Saws helps, although there are flashbacks as sort of crib cards to help you on your way.

The problem, ultimately, is that while it now feels you’re allowed to watch a Saw movie without being smacked over the head, the guts of the film (no pun intended) simply aren’t that good.

As such, I’d go with the consensus, that this is the best Saw film since the second one. But it’s still crying out for some strong narrative thinking that these particular films having really benefited from since the terrific original.

The Disc

Ad – content continues below

The high definition presentation of Saw VI, both in terms of picture and especially sound, is fine, although I wasn’t really blown away by either. You wouldn’t call either reference standard, but you do get something that looks and sounds superior to a DVD transfer.

There’s a sizeable package of extras to feast on, too. Of the featurettes, the Jigsaw Revealed piece is the most interesting, with decent involvement from actor Tobin Bell. But don’t discount the pair of commentary tracks, either. You get four producers chattering on one of them, but the better is the one with writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, along with director Kevin Greutert. It’s an interesting listen.

It’s a solid disc, in all, of a film that demonstrates there are sparks of life left in the franchise somewhere. Here’s hoping the work isn’t wasted when the seventh film arrives towards the end of the year…

The Film:

2 stars
The Disc:

Saw VI is out now on Blu-ray and available from the Den Of Geek Store.


4 out of 5