Oh, yes. There will be blood.
Darren Lynn Bousman
Running Time: 93 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18
Country: United States
Saw the first had me all the way through, and I dont care what anyone else says, the twist ending remained a twist for me until it was revealed. That movie signaled a new era in the horror genregore AND cleverness that didnt stick to the rules of the traditional scary movie. Saw II brings back some of the best elements of the original, like Jigsaw, and original victim Amanda, but expands its scope and ups the blood and gutsplus its got a New Kid on the Block in it.
Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) is feeling pretty good about himself for capturing wanted serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) for about five minutesthats about how long it takes him to realize that his catch was all a set-up. He and his team have indeed found Jigsaw, but they also discover that this abandoned warehouse is merely a remote viewing station to the killers latest series of testsand that one of the seven subjects is Matthews teenage son Daniel (Erik Knudsen). From there, everyone is in a race against timeMatthews and his team are trying to decipher Jigsaws clues in order to save the seven strangers from certain death, while the seven new subjects try to make their way through a series of tests before theyre poisoned by a deadly nerve gas. Once again, Jigsaw is full of surprises.
The Saw flicks are many things, combining blood splatter with psychological horror, and some of the best traps arent just bloodytheyre cringe-inducing, playing on fears of needles, fire, and the like. We ask ourselves: would I do THAT to survive? Its rare to find a horror film with this kind of gore that also asks its audience to think a bit, but thats the beauty behind Jigsawhes a sicko, but you kind of get it. Shawnee Smiths return as Amanda was a welcome reprise, and Wahlberg does an admirable job of fleshing out a pretty two-dimensional detective role. Now, where the first Saw, for the most part, kept us focused on one room and two people, here, the universe expands, which takes away a bit of the fun, because I like a little claustrophobia in my horror. Also, with an expanded cast of victims, theres never much time to care about most of them (and its never fully explained why they were chosen), and I found myself more interested in the next trap than if its intended subject would survive. But, even with those complaints, this second installment in the series is both a worthy follow up and a promising hint of whats to come.
It's Got: Fantastic effects, cool new traps, Shawnee Smith.
It Needs: A few less victims, better resolution to the why of why they were chosen.
DVD Extras Audio Commentary (Darren Lynn Bousman, director; Donnie Wahlberg and Beverly Mitchell, actors); Jigsaws Game; Bits and Pieces featurette (props); The Traps of Saw featurette; Storyboards; Trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
Not as good as the first but still good, Saw II takes us back into Jigsaws world and gives us even more fun and bloody stuff to look at.