Brandon White’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I don’t care if you covered yourself in peanut butter and had a 15 hooker gang-bang!”
Always love to tackle the Saw franchise because it’s such a strange yet wonderful experience to watch. With the storylines getting crazier in each film, and the traps having more development than the character development. So this is going to be interesting coming from a different perspective when watching the series with my girlfriend.
The premise for this is amazing as we follow through these flawed characters that get stuck in a room where they have to play a game to overcome their situation and their demons. It does have some similarities to Seven, but it’s more so focused on the victims than on the detectives themselves, so it doesn’t feel like a carbon-copy of Seven. There’s also the fact that Saw barely has any religious symbolism as the main villain likes to watch the games himself and judge them based on their actions that need to be fixed. The score by Charlie Clouser remains to be about as chilling as I remembered it that the theme of the song Hello Zepp remains to be one of the catchiest theme songs for a horror film. The set pieces they have here are impressive that shows the kind of obscure areas they’re in that makes sense for how difficult they can be to find. Some of the characters are memorable where I get to see their flaws and good moments here, but it could be a biased moment due to seeing this film way too many times, so by this point, I’m probably bound to know them at this point.
The traps they have for it are impressive and it details how it’s not easy for any victims to survive the acts that even people like Amanda (Shawnee Smith) get traumatized after what they went through. It’s impressive of what the filmmakers managed to get done when shooting the pic as the budget is low, and how it can be stressful to make sure that the shots were right as they were limited to use. It never is boring to watch as it keeps you interested in what it’s going to do for better and for worse. There are acting moments in there that are pretty good whether it be Danny Glover or Shawnee Smith. The twist ending remains to be effective as usual that jumpstart the whole series to be where it’s at, and some of the writing from whenever Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) speaks is interesting as he is meticulous in how he says his sentences while also getting himself started in his games for the first time. Just the subtleties of certain details that are clues to the games are always great that’s never too obvious to listen to.
Just like with any Saw film, this is the type that is fun to watch by yourself and is even more fun when watching it with friends and making so many jokes about this film. The acting is very inconsistent from Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell that have moments that weren’t too bad, but they also can be hilariously bad as well. Some very cheap moments are hilarious whether it be the editing that goes fast for the sake of going fast, and the car chase scene is the most hilarious part of the film that shows so heavily of its micro-budget. There were some errors that I saw whether it be Mark (Paul Gutrecht) wearing slippers when going through the floor that has glass everywhere even though it’s clear that he wasn’t wearing any shoes. Another one I saw was when David Tapp (Danny Glover) got sliced in the neck, but you can clearly see the mark on his neck before he got sliced.
Some of the scores does have some metal music that doesn’t fit with some of the tones of the film, and the transitions they make to get from one scene to another is silly, but there wasn’t too much of them even if they are funny to watch. Some of the dialogue here is so out there that is impressively silly that it is quotable to say. There are decisions here that characters make are hilariously questionable, and there are moments in here that don't make any sense. Even though it’s so much fun to make fun of, I had a great time watching it that is a decent flick at best that has a lot of good shit in here, while also having a bunch of dumb shit that puts a smile on my face.