Saw VI (2009)

Saw VI (2009) — How does a exploitative splatter movie franchise try to stay relevant in its sixth installment?  The answer is pretty funny.  By taking on the important issues of the day!  Seriously.  The victims of the torture traps in this one include predatory lenders and a whole bunch of people who work for a health insurance company (including an executive who is killed “not for what [he] did, but what [he] might to do to someone else.”  This doesn’t add any particularly drama to the movie but the half-baked moralism is actually pretty funny to watch.  So it has that going for it (plus the movie does calculate rather accurately that seeing predatory lenders and health insurance executives tortured is rather gratifying).  The acting is as mediocre as it always in in these types of movies.  The actors don’t deliver much but it’s okay because you really aren’t expecting much.  With one major exception.  Costas Mandylor, the actor who plays the post-Tobin Bell murderer (though Bell makes his pointless flashback cameos and maintains star billing), is a horrible horrible actor.  Like even bad for a Saw movie horrible.  Also the Saw series has a weird emphasis on continuity.  It’s sort of admirable in a way that they would try but it’s totally unnecessary.  In other gory slasher franchises you don’t really need that much backstory for say Friday the 13th Part 6.  Guy in hockey mask has violent antisocial tendencies: that’s all the backstory you need.  Saw VI‘s devotion to continuity is distracting because quite frankly Saws IIIV weren’t all that memorable.  The first was a movie that was unexpectedly clever for a splatter flick, and II was better than you’d think a sequel would be.  Since then the series has gotten incrementally worse with each installment.  The only reason anyone even sees them anymore are because the traps are cool.  Which brings me to the traps in Saw VI.  They aren’t that cool.  There’s already a Saw VII being made but there’s really nowhere left for this series to go…

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