See-Saw Day Five: Saw V

Director: David Hackl

Budget: $10.8million

Box Office: $113.8million

  • We open on lightning and rain. All that’s missing is demonic chanting and it would be cliche horror opening #151
  • A guy has woken up in near darkness. FINALLY, the director of one of these films realises we might actually want to see what’s going on and shines a spotlight on him.
  • Turns out the guy is called Seth, he killed somebody and escaped a full jail sentence. He’s chained down with a pendulum slowly making it’s way down. To escape he has to put his hands in blocks and crush them. He crushes his hands, driving his brain into an agonising pit and the pendulum rises. He still can’t get up, however, and the pendulum comes down, slicing his stomach open. So it’s going to be one of THOSE films, where Hoffman uses the motifs of Jigsaw without using the concept of game theory. So in other words; he’s just a random guy who tortures people. That’s what these films have become at this point, no longer about people testing their limits and us seeing it, it’s about torture and murder.
  • Yeah, he dies.
  • And now we flashback to the fourth movie. Specifically the part of the fourth movie that took place at the ending of the third one. So Strahm finds a hidden exit and escapes. Which is something I really wish I could do at this point. He finds a tape, because Jigsaw never went digital. He’s a purist in that way, a hipster.
  • He gets abducted by someone in a pig mask and placed in a trap. You know, just like almost every other character in this series.
  • The trap is this: his head is in a box that fills with water. And to escape….well he can’t, because this isn’t the first movie, aka the only one where that mattered.
  • He manages to escape still though, well he performs a tracheoctmy,trachoctomie, he makes a hole in his throat. This works.
  • Jigsaws wife is watching his video will. It turns out he’s left her something, a box. A box, which, despite belonging to a known serial killer, hasn’t been opened by police. Even if it was locked the police could still do it. I mean, security at airports tear the lock off your bag even if you’re not a serial killer.
  • A press conference announcing Jigsaw is dead and Hoffman caught him. They announce this in respect for those who have died, which somehow includes Danny Glover. I thought he lived for some reason.
  • How do people not know Hoffman is evil? Do they not listen to him when he speaks or see his face?
  • Hoffman goes back to his office, please as punch (with his punchable face) and finds a note saying “I know who you are”.
  • We flashback again to Perez getting her face blown off, the assumption being that it killed her. The last thing she said was “Detective Hoffman”, leading to Strahm believing that Hoffman is responsible (pretty accurately). Hoffman threatens him, which is definitely the actions of an innocent man.
  • Five people wake up in a room with a collar around their neck attached to massive razor blades. The five people are a mix of different genders and races, and an English guy.
  • This trap seems like all they need to do is do nothing for 15 minutes. Finally, my time to shine.
  • “I am fucking relaxed!” the guy screams.
  • They go to discuss their sins, but never actually do it. Shame.
  • An arsonist runs off, setting off the timer for the trap. What a dick.
  • Everyone starts to run off to get their keys. None of them thinks to also break the box next to theirs to get the other keys out too. Then everybody would relax. As it is, one of them dies, a blonde girl called……blonde girl. Who is there because……reasons.
  • So the guy in the first trap of this movie killed Hoffman’s sister. Which is probably why he died.
  • Strahm goes to the building where Seth died. Luckily the building is in the exact same state; even the hole in the window is still there. If that had been knocked down and replaced with luxury flats this wouldn’t be possible.
  • So the police who found Seth’s body knew who he was, and that he’d just got out of prison, and what for. And yet still didn’t know he was connected to Hoffman until he told them? These guys suck as detectives. I mean, wouldn’t they have known that his sister was murdered and the guy had just got out of prison? I mean, it was in the news and everything.
  • “I can see where the body was through this hole in the wall, this means Hoffman must have done it and made it look like Jigsaw!”. Or……Jigsaw did it because of his sense of justice, he’s killed people for similar reasons before. The only reason you know it’s Hoffman is because of the flashbacks, and you as a character don’t see those.
  • They go through their history, sadly they do it through speaking, not singing like in Chicago.
  • Oh, the English guy is an investigative journalist, that’s how he knows things.
  • The journalist beats the drug guy with a bat. But does it before they’ve got the key. Logically he should have waited until they got the key, and then hit them and stolen the key. If you’re going to be an asshole, do it right.
  • One of the women hits the English guy from behind, letting the drug addict take his key. See, this is why you should have waited. Also, what was her motivation? The drug guy is the one who set off the trap in the first room. Also, who would you rather have with you? Who would be more useful?
  • More flashbacks. This time to Jigsaw abducting Hoffman because he’s annoyed that he stole his gimmick. “they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, I tried using that as a defence in court for identity theft. Didn’t work.
  • See this is a compelling scene, where Jigsaw is convincing Hoffman to join him. Jigsaw is definitely the best character in these movies, which is why they keep using him long after he died. Really, killing him off was a terrible idea from a narrative standpoint as it kills the story and means you need to depend a lot on flashbacks to use your most valuable asset. But the trouble with using so many flashbacks is it’s hard to use them skillfully enough to advance the current narrative.
  • Back to the test subjects. We’re now down to three. Three really underdeveloped characters because the film has felt it more important to develop a character who died 2 films ago.
  • More flashbacks! This time to before the first movie, shows them abducting the guy who died in the barbed wire thing from the first film.
  • Now we have flashbacks to the second film, showing Hoffman dragging everybody into the house. I think about 50% of this story takes place via flashbacks
  • Back to the main trap people. Three of them in a room, they have to complete an electrical circuit to open the door. They decide to throw the junkie in a bathtub and connect all the electrical bits to him so he completes the circuit. One of them then decides “fuck that”, stabs the other woman in the back of the neck and uses her instead.
  • And now the two that are left FINALLY realise that if they stopped being selfish and actually helped each other they all would have survived. Every game was meant for 5 people. So this was essentially a team-building exercise?
  • They finally find what connects them. The junkie was paid to burn down an “abandoned” building which still had people inside. The woman at the start filed a bogus report, the city planner pushed through permits after being bribed, the journalist buried the story, and the other woman who was still alive set it all in motion.
  • Strahm has followed Hoffman somewhere and knocked him into a glass cabinet. Meanwhile another cop who hasn’t really done much finds the woman who was in the trap (the guy is dead due to blood loss), and suspects Strahm, putting out an APB on him.
  • The glass casket thingy hoffman is in falls backwards into a hole in the floor, as the rest of the room rises slowly, crushing Strahm. That has to be the only time I can recall a “slow crushing room” thing actually working in a film. Thing is, he really should have killed him another way. If he just shot him he could have said “I went to arrest him and he went to shoot me so I got him first”. How’s Hoffman gonna cover this up?
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