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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ Hopefully Ends Lackluster Series

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CHICAGO – I’m old enough to remember how the “Friday the 13th” series made a promise of “The Final Chapter” after the fourth film only to return with “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.” Let’s hope that “Saw: The Final Chapter” (also known as “Saw 7” and “Saw 3D”) does not follow the same pattern because this lackluster series truly needs to end now. At least give it a few years for some filmmaker to find what worked about it in the first place (for the record, I think the original “Saw” is a near-great horror flick…but the franchise went 1-for-7 overall) because this final film does not demand a follow-up. Please.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.0/5.0

The first “Saw” was a conceptually perfect gem in that it kept its plot simple and effective. Conversely, the sequels have become a mess of supporting characters no one gives a damn about and a labyrinthine collection of conspiracies and betrayals that seem almost purposefully uninteresting so as not to distract from the main reason people rent “Saw” movies — the traps. This Blu-ray case promises that “the final pieces of Jigsaw’s puzzle are revealed…” I’ll be damned if I could tell you what those pieces are other than a totally nonsensical final twist that ties the action back to one of the characters from the first film.

Saw: The Final Chapter was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 25th, 2011
Saw: The Final Chapter was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 25th, 2011
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Video

It’s a shame that the “game” of “Saw: The Final Chapter” wasn’t thought of earlier in the series because it’s actually not that bad when compared to the other sequels in the franchise. While characters from the other films (including Betsy Russell and Costas Mandylor) swirl around the nonsensical mystery of the alleged final pieces of Jigsaw’s puzzles, one more game is in place starring writer/self-help guru Bobby Dagan (Sean Patrick Flannery). For years, Dagan has been promoting himself as a survivor of one of Jigsaw’s traps and preaching his tale of finding a reason to live again. In perhaps the dumbest character move in a horror franchise in a long time, it turns out that Dagan was lying. Here’s the lesson of “Saw 7” — if there’s a serial killer out there trying to teach through his twisted mutilations, don’t PRETEND to be a victim. It’s only a matter of time before he makes you one.

Saw: The Final Chapter was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 25th, 2011
Saw: The Final Chapter was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 25th, 2011
Photo credit: Lionsgate Home Video

So, Jigsaw (or whoever is working as Jigsaw now considering he supposedly died several films ago) kidnaps Dagan along with several friends and family members. As Dagan moves through his “game,” he attempts to save his agent, lawyer, friend, and, eventually, wife. Of course, he’s not very successful or else gorehounds wouldn’t get what they were hoping for with a “Saw” sequel. It’s all merely an excuse for an increasingly-uninteresting series of traps. The opening scene trap is so ludicrous that one wonders if it isn’t supposed to be a parody of “Saw” movies.

I see more horror films every year than a vast majority of people and so I have become pretty immune to violence and gore in the genre, but “Saw: The Final Chapter” is one of the more blatantly misogynistic films I’ve seen in a long time. Horror regularly features disproportionate violence against women but it’s so blatant in this film from the opening scene of a woman getting sawed in half to the brutal climax that features two ugly female deaths. Director Kevin Greutart and writers Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan mutilate at least five female faces, often in perverse, disturbing ways. Some guys get brutalized as well but it’s impossible to deny the heavy streak of misogyny in this film, especially when one considers the relatively-tame fates of most of the male leads.

Of course, we shouldn’t take the seventh film in the “Saw” franchise seriously, right? Then why bother? What are we supposed to get out of it? It’s not interesting, not entertaining, and not clever. There are more artistic examples of gore if that’s what you’re looking for and there are way smarter horror movies coming soon to Blu-ray and DVD, including the excellent “Let Me In” and “Monsters.” This time of year always produces a glut of horror on Blu-ray and DVD as the previous year’s Halloween offerings hit the format. This year we’ll cover at least “Saw 7,” “Let Me In,” “Monsters,” “My Soul to Take,” “Hatchet II,” and “Paranormal Activity 2.” We’re starting with the worst. Let’s hope the franchise is ending with it.


Special Features:
o Producers Audio Commentary
o Writers Audio Commentary
o Deleted and Extended Scenes
o Music Videos
o “52 Ways to Die”
o Theatrical Trailer
o DVD Version
o Digital Copy

“Saw: The Final Chapter” stars Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Cary Elwes. It was written by Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan and directed by Kevin Greutert. It is unrated and runs 90 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous's picture

Stoked to see what is next

Stoked to see what is next in the final chapter of SAW films.

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