Headache-inducing, and featuring one of the worst D-movie performances of the aughts from Costas Mandylor as Detective Hoffman, the latest "Saw" franchise addition is more of the same torture-punishment-rehab-porn audiences have come to expect. The filmmakers make a pathetic stab at political poignancy with an anti-health-insurance-company--cartel theme, but do little to tweak the series' chambers-of-horrors formula that regularly digresses to grainy flashback sequences an dares to dip its toe into a parallel subplot. Yes, my friends, this is a crash-course in acting, directing, editing , and screenwriting mistakes to never make. Ribs pop, necks choke, and blood splatters, all in a orgiastic humping of gears and flesh that expel the red liquid of life, all in the interest of proving the significance of life by testing the limits of a cannibalistic instinct for survival. Forget that the series gave up all continuity with Tobin Bell's alternately dead villain Jigsaw long ago. The funniest thing about this edition of the Saw crapfest--I do, however, like the poster you see here--is that it comes out during an outstanding year for great Halloween-timed horror films to run out and see. If you are a horror movie fan--full disclosure, I am a rabid horror fan myself--then, do not pass go, do not collect $200, but go see "The House of the Devil" as an opening act to Lars von Trier's "Antichrist." I can't imaging a better way to spend Halloween, 2009 than to take in that double-feature before going to costume party with friends. Juicy.
Rated R. 91 mins. (D) (One Star)