If you think SAW is overdone, think again – the end doesn’t seem to be even near.

The fifth chapter of torture-porn SAW continues from where it stopped in SAW IV – Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) is trapped in a room where Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), also known as John Kramer, and three of his ‘rehabilitative’ subjects lie dead. Soon, he finds himself being tested whether he is worth a second shot in life while Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) emerges as the hero who ‘survived’ Jigsaw’s trap.

Above: Costas Mandylor as Mark Hoffman

SAW V mainly focuses on Hoffman, whom you would have realised previously that would continue Jigsaw’s ‘serial killing’ legacy.

Doubtful of Hoffman’s heroic facade, Strahm goes on a mission to shed light on the truth. Through flashbacks, the film reveals how Hoffman encounters his predecessor.

Frankly, just like SAW III and IV, this new inclusion does not live up to the first two that kicked off this blockbuster series (and which also played most of the part in creating the SAW fanbase). But that statement does not imply that SAW V does not value your time – it is worthy if you’ve been faithfully keeping up with this bizarre story.

All eyes on director’s debut
Making his directorial debut, David Hackl proved his worth by taking over the steering wheel from previous director Darren Lynn Bousman in this fifth episode. Bousman prefers to confuse his audience throughout the movie and overwhelms his audience by throwing the puzzle pieces together in the last scene.

However, Hackl spoon-feeds his audience to keep them on the right direction all through the film. This might help those who didn’t watch the past four prequels to follow the story, but might displease the fanatics as these people might find themselves asking, “Twist? What twist?”

Hackl won’t be back for the sixth installment. Instead, director Kevin Greutert is in command of the rein.

Best trap ever in SAW – The Pendulum trap
One plus point for SAW V is that it is no longer only about bloodshed. Director Hackl did a better job in instilling fear, especially in the film’s first scene in which a certain Pendulum trap is used to torture a victim.

With the camera shots taken at the right angles, the fast transitions from one shot to another and the complementing sound effects of the swinging pendulum all serving to intensify the terror, the impending bloodbath is not what you care about. Instead, the victim’s feel of helplessness and the jarring noise from the harsh swaying of the sharp blade grips you. For once, gore is not only about pools of blood, bloody viscera and protruding bones.

Releasing this particular scene on September on its official movie website, this gore-loving UrbanWire reviewer daresay it is the best trap ever in SAW.

No more “You’ll not believe how it ends…”
The ending might disappoint SAW followers. Coming out of the theatre, the usual exclamations of “I didn’t see that coming” from the audience were not evident.

SAW V is like a special episode to tie up most of the loose ends from past installments. The motive of the movie is discernible: it is meant for its core audience and not to attract new fans.

Above: Jigsaw’s legend will continue

Now cheers to the usual Halloween wait for SAW VI.

UrbanWire gives SAW V 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Movie details
Release date: Oct 30
Running Time: 95 min
Language: English
Rating: R21
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson
Directed by: David Hackl

(Pictures courtesy of Shaw Movies)