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Saw II (2005)

  Tags: blood, Darren Lynn Bousman, Dina Meyer, Donnie Walhberg, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, gore, James Wan, jigsaw, Leigh Whannell, saw, Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, torture, traps

Your rating: None Average: 7.5 (20 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
8

saw2.jpg
Rating #: 
8/10
Director: 
Darren Lynn Bousman
Runtime: 
93 minutes
Cast: 
Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Donnie Walhberg, Franky G, Glenn Plummer


Not long after the release of the successful first film that talk of a sequel began. Shortly after it was green-lit and the ball was rollin' for the project. When it was revealed that original writer/director James Wan and co-writer Leigh Whannell might not be involved things became skeptical. To make things even more questionable, an unknown director was announced, but luckily co-writer Leigh Whannell returned to help script; much like the typical formula of horror films, the sequels end up just a shadow of the first and fail to cause much of an impression as their predecessor. Then Saw 2 was released and everyone’s expectations were blown away. I for one thought it looked like a decent film, but I had no idea that I was in for another thrilling; mind-bending ride such as this. As early reports stated, we were going to get a fairly different movie than the first, and that's what was delivered, and successfully so.

In this movie our male lead is Donnie Walhberg -- a disheveled, uncaring father figure and crooked cop to boot. Donnie's character is aiding the arrest of Jigsaw and they're very close to catching him. Then, they get their break. Jigsaw is found and just when they thought it was time to take him in, he reveals monitors that once again show a group of people trapped in an enclosed space. To make matters worse, there is a timer counting down from two hours and once time runs out the deadly gas that the people inhaled would have already killed them. It's then revealed that the detective's son is one of the trapped victims, leading the detective to act irrational and making things harder on the police and easier on Jigsaw in terms of finding the victims. Also in the group is Shawnee Smith's character -- the girl who survived Jigsaw in the original film.

I really liked this movie. It combined some of the same elements in the first and gave it a new twist. Now, instead of just being trapped in one room, the people are free to roam what's revealed to be a house full of traps specifically for each one of them. The goal is for them to retrieve the antidote for the poisonous gas by going through a number of torturous contraptions, each suited towards the characters. We've go from a pit full of syringes to a clear box with blades for openings. "Yes, there will be blood", and indeed there was; lots. Many say there's more gore here than the first, but considering I hadn't seen the first in a while it's hard for me to say.

The flick plays a little off paranoia and the human instinct to survive, more-so than the first. The fact that they had a house full of doors to explore brings up more questions and problems than the first ever did. We are also given more background on Jigsaw himself and even an explanation as to why he does what he does. Just when I thought I had the ending figured out, I'm sideswiped into another direction, revealing a totally different ending; amazing. Even after watching films for most of my life, I still didn't see this coming. Either I'm losin' it or Leigh Whannell and Darren Lynn Bousman did an excellent job concealing the climax. Either way I really enjoyed this flick. The first movie was an interesting, psychological torture-ride, while this combines those elements and kicks it up a notch, adding more twists and blood for us gore-hounds. So, is this better than the first? I'd say yes, it's slightly better than the first.

A solid sequel to an interesting first film. Offers more for the audience to ponder about and reveals new twists and turns as time goes on. Prepare to squirm in your seat with this one. Highly recommended.

Posted on July 3, 2009 - 12:11am | FrighT MasteR

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