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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2011

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"Saw The Final Chapter" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

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Synopsis

In this seventh and final chapter of the Saw series, a cop gone wrong has picked up where the Jigsaw killer left off.  People are captured and placed in situations where they must make deadly choices to either save themselves or another captor.  Each trap is more elaborate than the last and usual result is spraying blood and flying body parts.  All of the victims are involved in some sort of wrongdoing.  The main victim in this installment is Bobby Dagen (Flanery).  He is a Jigsaw survivor and is touring to promote his book and to speak to other survivors.  He has a dark secret though that makes him a target of an elaborate trap.  He has 60 minutes to rescue his publicist, lawyer, best friend and his wife before they all meet horrible ends.  The killer is rogue cop Mark Hoffman (Mandylore) who is determined to dish out his own brutal brand of justice.  The ending is a bit of a surprise as we see who is really behind all the mayhem.

Specifications

  • Lionsgate
  • 2010, Color, Unrated, 1 Hr 30 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Codec:  AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring:  Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery
  • Directed by Kevin Greutert
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Extreme
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

This has to be the goriest, most violent movie I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure this is the exact reaction the creators are hoping for.  There is no moment that isn’t completely over the top.  I do give credit to the minds that can think of so many creative ways for people to be tortured and killed.  It’s also a little frightening to think of just who comes up with this stuff!  This film will appeal to gore fans everywhere just as its six predecessors have done.  Saw is one of the most successful horror franchises in Hollywood history with nearly $850 million in box office receipts.  While the violence is at times stomach-turning, it’s so completely unbelievable that I wouldn’t call myself disturbed after watching.  The special effects look pretty fake most of the time and the film’s whacky color palette only adds to the unrealism.  I imagine this Blu-ray will have many fans but I do not count myself among them.

Technical

This review is of the 2D version of the film.  A 3D Blu-ray is available separately.  This is also an unrated cut with some added footage over the theatrical release.

The image quality was quite poor with very unrealistic color, flat pasty flesh tones and dark scenes that showed wild variations in color temperature.  The color was so un-natural the blood took on an almost muddy pink hue.  Most of the dark material was so crushed that any detail was lost.  I do believe an attempt was made to stylize the image to make it more gritty and nasty but it had such an impact on detail and clarity that it passed a point of diminishing return.

Audio quality was pretty good with lots of squishy sound effects that came from all directions.  Deep bass was present during explosions and fast-paced action scenes.  Dialog was always clear and firmly anchored to the screen.  By far the best part of the soundtrack was the score by composer Charlie Clouser who has written for a number of horror movies and most notably, the TV show Numb3rs.  I really enjoyed one scene where he used timpani glissandi that panned around the room.  It’s a great demo for your surround speaker system.

Extras

Bonus features include audio commentary from the writers and producers, deleted and extended scenes, music videos, trailers and a recap of the 52 traps featured in all the Saw films.