"Saw: The Final Chapter" (2010)

10/30/2010 Posted by Admin

"Saw: The Final Chapter" (2010)

Movie Review

Directed by Kevin Greutert, Written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, Rated- R, 90-minutes.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Well, it’s Halloween weekend, a time for us to ward off evil spirits, eat candy and atone for our movie-going sins in yet another "Saw" movie. Supposedly the last of the series, until its inevitable “in space” sequel, "Saw 7" boasts a conclusion to the epic saga--however, all the flashbacks and 3D entrails in the world couldn’t save this film from its series’ inherent trappings.

The plot of "Saw 7" is, uh, well, loose.

Some guy (Sean Patrick Flannery) is profiting off his Jigsaw survival story, so Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) puts him in another funhouse of ironic murders to teach him the meaning of life.  Who better?  Meanwhile, a Jigsaw copycat (Costas Mandylor) hunts Jigsaw’s widow (Betsy Russell) while a cop (Chad Donella) tries to get to the bottom of things.

Seem vague? Don’t worry, it’s but a small inconvenience.

"Saw" has never been much about the script. From the first movie, which brought even good actors to their knees with inconsistencies and ridiculous dialogue, the series focused more closely on the murders than character. "Saw 7" almost ignores the plot altogether for the first half hour, where it occasionally throws in a quick, non-sequitur murder just to keep the audience’s attention. As a series of exploitative scenes without a plot tie, the movie kind of feels like "Jackass" without the male nudity and farts. That said, "Saw" fans will either enjoy the slight callbacks to past movies or find these poorly threaded plot points distracting to the murders.

The appeal of "Saw" isn’t in Jigsaw’s judgments--it’s in the set pieces and traps, of which there is a spark of creativity. The filmmakers never fail to deliver a somewhat creative twist on their victims’ character flaws, and they remain as gross and as effective as ever.

While the traps they endure are cool in theory, the film’s look is incredibly bland as most of the sets and lighting look stolen from a SyFy Channel original movie. With all the money this series has behind it, couldn’t this film throw a little more production design into the picture? Set a little mood?  Those efforts go  a long way when the film goes for the frights, and it’s something that even after seven movies, the "Saw" franchise refuses to understand.

In the end, though, it’s hard to gauge these "Saw" movies. On one hand, these are not good films by any set of conventions and are forgotten as quickly as they are produced. Every aspect is bad, and yet, on the other hand, "Saw 7" was, on a visceral level, somewhat enjoyable. I’m sure this is how "Saw" fans justify its existence--it’s rarely scary, but it is frequently disgusting.

I guess in that regard, it’s more like "Jackass" than initially expected. Both movies are there to gross you out and have become exceedingly efficient in doing so. Unfortunately, whereas "Jackass" knows that it's stupid, the "Saw" franchise needs to stop trying to justify itself with story.

Get to the kills – it’s all we want.

Grade: D+

View the trailer below:

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