Saw V Reviews
I will start off with the directorial efforts of David Hackl and why it just didn't work here. This was the directorial debut for David Hackl, the production designer of Saw II, III, and IV, so despite being familiar with the franchise his inexperience in directing feature films shows very clearly. The film follows a large number of core characters and core storylines (some of which are more featured than others) including seperate but connected plots following Hoffman, Strahm, the main trap, Jill Tuck, and a series of flashback sequences. All of this content is engaging in its own right but the arrangement of all these stories is very poorly executed. There is a lot of jumping around and it makes everything feel very busy as you have to keep track and remember all of these events happening concurrently and it gets a little overwhelming. I honestly wouldn't blame you if you forgot Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) is even in this film as her crucial and important scenes are thrown in here at random moments.
But despite these issues, the most prominent plot; the conflict between Hoffman and Strahm is very engaging and takes twists and turns here and there that will have you fighting with yourself as you don't know which character you want to root for as both are set up so well. The main trap that pits 5 victims seemingly against each other is one of the better set ups mainly because it is a very intelligent trap as well as being a bloody one. Much like this entire film it says something about human nature, and understanding human nature which is actually an interesting idea in here that is severely overlooked by viewers. Once again flashbacks are a big part of the main plot and crucial in understanding events of the past also here they are implemented much better than they were in Saw IV and include some juicy information.
So in the end Saw V is the beginning of the ultimate downfall of the Saw franchise. It includes 5 very interesting storylines that intersect and crossover to some degree and are engaging and fun to follow. But the way they are arranged into one feature length film is executed poorly and it has to do with David Hackl's inexperience in the realm of directing. The performances by the actors outside of the trap are strong and believable enough whereas the performances by those in the traps are quite silly and over-exaggerated...... but performances aren't why you watch Saw. Saw V sets the franchise on its home stretch and whilst it still maintains the familiar formula from its predecessors it is clear the plot-lines are beginning to take over as it takes a lot of time to explain and justify the various twists.