Unfinished Saw2Icon

Saw VI is a 2009 Canadian–American horror film directed by Kevin Greutert from a screenplay written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. It is the sixth installment of the Saw film series and stars Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Peter Outerbridge, and Shawnee Smith.

Greutert, who served as editor for all the previous Saw films, made his directorial debut with Saw VI. Melton and Dunstan, the writers for both Saw IV and V, returned to write the screenplay and Charlie Clouser, who provided the score for all previous Saw films, composed the score. The soundtrack mostly consists of heavy metal and hard rock music. Filming took place in Toronto from March to May 2009 with a budget of $11 million. Following its cinematic release, the film failed to garner any award nominations from mainstream motion picture organizations for its production merits or lead acting.

Plot Outline Edit

Saw VI concludes the second trilogy of the series that focused on the posthumous effects of the Jigsaw Killer and the progression of his successor, Mark Hoffman. In the film, Hoffman sets a new trap for an insurance executive, William Easton, while the FBI trails Peter Strahm, now suspected of being Jigsaw's last accomplice.

Synopsis Edit

Simone (Tanedra Howard) and Eddie (Marty Moreau), two predatory lenders, wake up wearing head harnesses with screws poised to their heads in a room with a caged-in scale in the center. The one who puts the most flesh weight on their tray will survive; although Eddie almost escapes by tearing off fat from his body, he dies when Simone chops her left forearm off to tip the scale, saving herself. Lt. Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is called to the scene by Dan Erickson (Mark Rolston), who found Peter Strahm's fingerprints around the room. He also reveals that Lindsey Perez (Athena Karkanis) is still alive, her survival having been hidden by Erickson due to Jigsaw's last accomplice still being unknown. Hoffman later meets with Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) at her clinic; he informs her that he is taking control of the games, and Jill hands him five envelopes from the box left to her in John Kramer's (Tobin Bell) will.

William Easton (Peter Outerbridge), a health insurance executive, talks with his company's attorney, Debbie (Caroline Cave), about Harold Abbott (George Newbern), who died from an illness after his insurance policy was revoked due to an application discrepancy. That night, William is kidnapped from his office and brought to an abandoned zoo. He awakens in a vise trap designed to tighten around his torso each time he breathes into an oxygen respirator. Across from him, Hank (Gerry Mendicino), his janitor and a smoker, is in the same trap. William learns that he has sixty minutes to go through four traps to remove bombs from his limbs, and that he will lose his family if he fails. In the first test, Hank is killed when he fails to hold his breath longer. In his second test, Jigsaw's puppet informs William that he must choose to save either his file clerk Allen (Shawn Ahmed), a healthy orphan, or his secretary Addy (Janelle Hutchison), an ill woman surrounded by family. William chooses to save Addy, and Allen is hanged by a barbed wire noose when his platform retracts. In his third test, he must help Debbie navigate a boiler room maze within ninety seconds or the device on her chest will fire a spear through her head. At the end of the maze, she discovers through X-ray films that the key is implanted in William's side and attacks him with a circular saw, but is killed when her device discharges. In his final test, William finds his six staff members chained to a spinning carousel with a shotgun positioned to shoot each person at random. He can save two of them by driving spikes into his hand that will divert the shotgun. He reluctantly chooses to save Emily and Shelby.

Throughout William's tests, it is revealed that John and William met at Jill's clinic and that John found fault with William's methods, which essentially chose who lives or dies. John later went to William for coverage for cancer treatment and was rejected. It is further revealed that John brought Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) to Jill, who had dismissed Amanda as a lost cause, as proof that his methods work; Jill went to the plant before John's death and asked him to end the games, and John gave her the key to the box from his will with the promise that she would be given a way out when the games ended. Elsewhere in the zoo, Tara (Shauna MacDonald) and Brent (Devon Bostick) wake up in one locked cage, while reporter Pamela Jenkins (Samantha Lemole) wakes up in another. Meanwhile, Erickson and Perez inform Hoffman that they found abnormalities in Strahm's fingerprints, and that they retrieved the Seth Baxter tape, the voice of which did not match Jigsaw's. They bring Hoffman to the site where the voice is being unscrambled by a technician, and Erickson reveals to a visibly nervous Hoffman that he is aware of Strahm's death. The moment they discover it is Hoffman's voice on the tape, Hoffman kills everyone in the room and sets it on fire to destroy all evidence, using Strahm's severed hand to plant the fingerprints.

When Hoffman returns to the observation room, he finds a letter placed on the desk by Jill, which he had once written to Amanda to blackmail her into killing Lynn Denlon upon finding out that Amanda had been with Cecil (Billy Otis) the night he robbed Jill's clinic. As Jill returns and electrocutes Hoffman, William reached the end of his path and finds himself between the two cages, where it is revealed that he and Pamela are siblings, while Tara and Brent are Harold Abbott's family. A videotape informs Tara that she can choose to kill William or set him free using a marked switch; when Tara cannot bring herself to do so, Brent readily shifts the switch to "Die" and William is killed when a platform of needles swings into his back and pumps hydrofluoric acid into his body. Simultaneously, Jill restrains Hoffman and secures a modified Reverse Bear-Trap to his head, leaving him with a 45-second timer but no key. He escapes the chair by breaking his hand and lodges the trap in between the horizontal bars of the door's window, pulling his head free and tearing his right cheek open.

Cast Edit

  • Tobin Bell as John Kramer
  • Costas Mandylor as Detective Mark Hoffman
  • Mark Rolston as Agent Dan Erickson
  • Betsy Russell as Jill Tuck
  • Shawnee Smith as Amanda Young
  • Peter Outerbridge as William Easton
  • Athena Karkanis as Agent Lindsey Perez
  • Samantha Lemole as Pamela Jenkins
  • Tanedra Howard as Simone
  • Marty Moreau as Eddie

Production Edit

Development and writing Edit

Kevin Greutert agreed to return as editor for Saw V under the condition he could direct Saw VI. On May 14, 2008 Bloody Disgusting reported that Kevin Greutert, the editor of the first five films in the franchise, would make his directorial debut with Saw VI. Newcomer Andrew Coutts replaced him as editor for the film.[1] Saw VI marked David Armstrong's last time to serve as cinematographer of the series. Mark Burg and Oren Koules again served as producers, with James Wan and Leigh Whannell, creators of the series, as executive producers. Charlie Clouser was brought back to compose the score. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, writers of Saw IV and Saw V, returned to write the sixth installment. Melton said that the film had good pacing and a resolution for the series. Greutert commented that Saw VI would have some finality to it, something he always wanted to see in the series. During the early planning stage for the script it was suggested that Mandylor's character, Detective Hoffman, should take on the mafia, but the idea was quickly dismissed as not "feeling Saw enough". Greutert said in a Demon FM interview that Lionsgate told him a week before filming, that Saw VI would be post-converted into 3D. Greutert was upset by this, since the film he envisioned was a 2D film, aesthetically. The plans were later abandoned due to time restraints.

Casting Edit

On July 26, 2007 before Saw IV was released, CraveOnline's horror website announced that Costas Mandylor would sign-on to appear as Mark Hoffman in Saw V and Saw VI. Mandylor commented on his character: "Hoffman is sort of torn of becoming a mad man or becoming a guy that's more composed, coming from a pure place like Jigsaw. That's my character's dilemma; does he go fucking crazy or follow the rules of the boss?" Greutert said in an interview with Bloody Disgusting that Saw VI would have the most characters of any Saw film to date but reassured the writers would stay true to previous storylines to prevent any "violations of logic and chronology". A TV reality show called Scream Queens aired in 2008 on VH1, in which 10 unknown actresses competed for a "breakout" role in Saw VI. Unknown actress Tanedra Howard won the role. LionsGate made a public statement ensuring her a leading role in the film but did not elaborate further on her character.[2] Devon Bostick was cast as Brent. He also had for a minor role in Saw IV as a different character, but was only seen briefly as his role changed many times during filming. It was confirmed on March 24, 2009 that Shawnee Smith would return as Amanda Young. Newly filmed "flashback" scenes would be created instead of using archive footage from previous entries, as had been done in the films since her character's death in Saw III.[3][4] On April 19 it was announced that James Van Patten would return as Dr. Heffner, a character featured in the opening scene of the fourth installment performing the autopsy on John Kramer/Jigsaw. On April 29 it was reported that Peter Outerbridge had been cast as a new character, William, and that Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, and Mark Rolston would return as their characters John Kramer/Jigsaw, Jill Tuck, and Special Agent Erickson, respectively. Russell commented about her character: "You find out a little more about if Jill is good or evil. Pretty much you'll know." Greutert wanted to bring Cary Elwes's character Dr. Gordon back but Elwes was not available. He was later cast in Saw 3D, though the storyline is very different than the one Greutert had for him in Saw VI.

Filming and trap designs Edit

File:SawVI Carousel Room.JPG

With a budget of $11 million, Saw VI began principal photography on March 30, 2009 and wrapped on May 13, 2009.[6] The film was shot in an industrial Toronto studio. Greutert said that the trap victims would be more one-on-one with the trap and would be more personal to them. This was compared to Saw IV and V, which most of the traps were set in big rooms and involved several people at one time.

Armstrong told Bloody Disgusting reviewer Mike Pereira that he thinks "visually" Saw VI might be his favorite, saying "We're kind of pulling back a little bit in the color palette. It's going to be more suggestive and not so vibrant, in your face like III and IV. It's more neutral and shows natural flesh tones. On Saw V, I pulled back a little bit and on this one, I pulled back even more." He commented that the "steam room" trap was the "best looking" of them all. He went on to say, "It's big and expensive. It's got furnaces, fires and steam. It's multi-leveled. The most complex Saw. We had techno cranes flying through. It was pretty amazing." Commenting on the "carousel room" trap Armstrong said: "It's very carnival, playground-like. It's just nasty. [There are] spinning red lights in there. It's really overwhelming to walk in and look at because everything is spinning." Greutert said in an issue of the horror magazine Fangoria that the "carousel room" was, to date, the "longest trap scene ever". He admitted that originally they had ten actors riding the carousel, but it was ultimately scaled down to six, to "tie in to the [film's] title".

Soundtrack Edit

Saw VI: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack includes music by the bands Kittie, Chimaira, Suicide Silence, Nitzer Ebb, Mushroomhead, Lacuna Coil, and Converge, among others. The soundtrack includes 18 tracks separated by 3 parts, each with six songs and includes 3 bonus tracks. It was released on October 20, 2009 through Trustkill Records.[7] James Christopher Monger of allmusic praised the use of hard rock and heavy metal music, something that had been missing since Saw IV. He said in his review that "It's a fitting marriage, as hard rock and heavy metal are the sonic suitors to horror and torture porn films and video games". He particularly liked the songs by Hatebreed ("In Ashes They Shall Reap"), Converge ("Dark Horse"), My My Misfire ("The Sinatra"), and Kittie ("Cut Throat"), calling the songs the "most ferocious moments this time around".[8]

Release Edit

Saw VI was released on October 22, 2009 in Australia and New Zealand, a day earlier than the Canada, United States, and United Kingdom release. Most of the film's stars attended the Lionsgate annual "red carpet" event for the film at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. The Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an R rating without much content having to be edited. In Spain the film was rated with a Película X rating for extreme violence, and restricted screenings to only eight adult movie theaters in that region. Buenavista, the film's foreign distributor, appealed the decision. After producers cut several of the "most violent scenes" to obtain a "not under 18" rating, it will be released in Spain on October 8, 2010.

Reception Edit

Box office Edit

Saw VI opened in 3,036 theaters on 4,000 screens and earned US$6,957,263—$2,292 per theater on its opening day, in second place behind Paranormal Activity which grossed $7,572,457 that day during its second weekend of wide release.[9] It grossed $14,118,444—$4,650 per theater its opening weekend.[10] This was less than any of the other Saw films.[11] It remained at number two behind Paranormal Activity which was playing on only 64% as many screens as Saw VI, but made 67% more money.[12][13] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "C" on an A+ to F scale. On Halloween weekend, it moved down to number six and made $5,270,794—$1,736 per theater, a 62.7% decrease in ticket sales from the previous weekend.[14] By its third weekend it declined in sales by 61.4% and was removed from 945 theaters. It fell into 11th place with $2,031,944—$972 revenue per theater.[15] By its fourth weekend, ticket sales declined by 77.9% and the film was pulled from 1,314 theaters. It made $449,512—$579 per theater.[16] On its fifth and final weekend it made $91,875—$516 per theater, a 79.6% decrease, and it was pulled from an additional 599 theaters. It was being shown in 178 theaters by the end of its run.[17] The film closed out of theaters on November 24, 2009, after only 35 days.[18]

Saw VI began its international run in tenth place with $4.73 million on 946 screens in 11 markets. It opened in the UK, where it placed second, grossing $2.683 million on 375 screens. In Australia, it opened at fourth place with earnings of $846,000 on 164 screens.[19] In its second week it came in eighth place with $4.48 million on 1,229 screens in 20 markets for a total of $11.86 million. The film opened in third place in Russia with $1.13 million on 273 screens while it fell to fourth place in the UK with $1.53 million on 381 screens over the weekend for a total of $6.16 million.[20] Saw VI was released in Spain on October 8, 2010 and grossed $1,258,106 on its opening weekend in 211 theaters.[21] The film has come to gross $27,693,292 in the United States and Canada, and $40,213,126 in other markets, for a worldwide total of $67,906,418; making it the lowest-grossing film of the series.[11][18]

Critical response Edit

As with the previous three Saw films, Saw VI was not screened in advance for critics. As with all other installments of the series, the film received mixed reviews from film critics, though it did garner the second best critical reception of the series. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 42% of 60 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.5 out of 10.[22] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score out of 0-100 from film critics, gives the film a rating score of 30, based on 12 reviews.[23]

File:Tobin Bell Saw 3D premiere.jpg

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that "Saw VI is the thinnest, draggiest, and most tediously preachy of the Saw films. It's the first one that's more or less consumed by backstory—which is to say, it's one of those hollow franchise placeholders in which far too many fragments from the previous sequels keep popping up in flashbacks." He said, "If your goal is to do a quick study for a round of Saw Trivial Pursuit, then this may be the movie for you. If you're looking to be jolted into fear or queasy laughter, skip this sequel and hope that the producers get their sick act together next time." Rob Nelson of Variety wrote, "Squeezing another pint of blood from its torture-porn corpus, Lionsgate slays again with Saw VI, a film so frighteningly familiar it could well be called 'Saw It Already'. At least the requisite moralism is more playful than pious in this edition", but added, "Presumably owing to director Kevin Greutert's work as editor of all five previous Saw pics, the film's juggling of chronology is the franchise's best...." Christopher Monfette of IGN Movies rated Saw VI three out of five and wrote that "while Saw VI certainly offers a redemption for the series and the promise of a coming power struggle for Jigsaw's legacy, Saw VII will no doubt mark the time to either shake things up or watch this franchise get the ax".[25]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter said, "If this is torture porn, it's as if it was designed to be enjoyed by Michael Moore." He closed his review saying, "As usual, what gives the film whatever interest it has -- beyond satisfying the rapacious appetites of gore aficionados -- is the moral element attached to the various Rube Goldberg-style set pieces. Here, it's exemplified by a well-staged sequence in which a man must choose who lives or dies during a particularly lethal variation of musical chairs."[26] Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel gave the film two out of five stars. He said the script "has a more lyrical bent, and a more satiric bite, than any of the other Saw sequels" and called the acting "perfunctory on most fronts".[27] Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a negative review, writing "But, really, do reformers and victims of callous health insurers really want a guy with a penchant for elaborately constructed death panels of his own to be their advocate? Elsewhere, the usual critiques apply: terrible acting, zero suspense, laughable logic and the promise of another one next year. How can we get this policy canceled?" Chris Hewitt of the St. Paul Pioneer Press gave the film a negative review. He was displeased that the film offered nothing new saying, "The first three Saw movies had some intriguing ideas and an unusual way of presenting them, but the three most recent films have barely bothered to come up with anything fresh." Kim Newman of Empire gave the film three out of five, stating "Saw VI gets back to Saw basics in gripping, gruesome manner."[28]

Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe gave the film a two and half out of four stars saying, "Who knew that the franchise’s creators would eventually find a plot twist that made sense? Who knew they’d realize that Tobin Bell’s righteous killer had current-events value? Given our cable-news climate, it’s not beyond imagining that John Kramer could have his own populist TV show: 'Jigsaw’s Death Panel'?". Blake French of AMC Filmcritic gave the film three and a half out of five, writing, "Director Kevin Greutert hasn't helmed a lot of films in the past, but he did edit all of the previous Saws. As it turns out, his mastered craft lends well to directing. He spins a taut, tight, concise web of terror and surprise. The best entry in the series since Saw II."[29] Brad Miska of Bloody Disgusting gave the film seven out of ten and wrote "Saw VI is faithful to the franchise and the twist/finale are 100% satisfying. Saw fans will walk out of the theater with their fists in the air with the feeling that they've reclaimed their beloved franchise."[30] Marc Savlov of Austin Chronicle gave the film one and half out of five stars, saying "Enshrouding the whole gooey mess in the already blood-spattered surgical garb of the ongoing health care debate is a crafty move on the screenwriters’ part, but once you get past that pseudo-ironic touch, this Saw is no more or less disturbing than any other in the series".[31]

Home media Edit

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released in three editions on January 26, 2010: an "R-rated Theatrical Full Screen Edition", an "Unrated Director's Cut Widescreen Edition", and an "Unrated Director's cut Blu-ray Disc"—as well as a digital download. The release includes an additional scene after the credits roll, featurettes about Jigsaw, the traps, and the Halloween Horror Nights "Saw: Game Over" maze. Music videos by Memphis May Fire, Hatebreed, Mushroomhead, and Suicide Silence were included with all editions. The Director's Cut included two commentary tracks, one with director Kevin Greutert and writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, and the other featuring producer Mark Burg and executive producers Peter Block and Jason Constantine.[32] During its initial releae, all three editions came in a "2-Movie Set", which was bundled with the first film with the original bonus features from the initial release. The film is now sold by itself without the original Saw. According to The, Saw VI placed number three its first week on the DVD sales chart, selling 220,107 units ($2,766,088) in the United States.[33] In comparison, Saw V sold 515,095 units ($11,326,939) its first week.[34] In the first three weeks Saw VI sold 443,710 units for $7,587,396.[35]


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External links Edit

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