When Saw first hit the big screen, it was a big deal. Its concept was original and shocking at a time when the horror genre had become stagnant. Years later, the novelty has worn off and familiarity has kicked in as the creators show no signs of deviating from a well-worn formula. Now it’s the Police Academy of its style.
You don’t go along to something like this for the acting or writing, so it’s churlish to dwell on the weaknesses there. What’s really disappointing is the use, or lack there of, of the 3D format. Torture porn seems custom built to exploit the extra dimension, but the format is curiously under-utilized and feels like it was included only because it’s the done thing at cinemas these days. At least the stages of the game are well designed and provide the requisite gore in interesting fashion. In the end, that’s why people have stayed loyal to the brand and keep coming back.
Still, it’s sad to see how far the franchise has fallen. This is advertised as the final chapter (though that isn’t set in stone) and the film’s grand finale is a tepid twist at best, which sadly mirrors the series as a whole. Even the most hardcore fans may be disappointed, as the earlier works deserved to go out with a much bigger bang.