Who's In It: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Cary Elwes
The Basics: [Note to readers who care: this review will contain a lot of spoilers] The Saw Legacy Project continues as past victims, sawing acolytes and pretenders to the Jigsaw throne meet their demise and reveal their true personalities. This one involves a Jigsaw survivors' support group. No, seriously, that's what it's about, people who sit around in a creepy dark church working through the pain of their mutual imprisonment and partial dismemberment by Jigsaw and/or his predecessors. One of them, played by Sean Patrick Flanery (please see Jen's review for some nice "OMG YOUNG INDIANA JONES!" drooling) wrote a book about his ordeal. Except he's a liar, which means that Jigsaw's worker drones are going to fix his wagon with a series of impossible traps and machines. Hooray.
What's The Deal: All marketing materials point to this being the last of the series. Except it still ends in that "Golly, what a surprise that is" way. The way all the Saw movies end. Because if this one takes in a lot of cash they'll decide that it isn't time to say goodbye just yet. And that's really the problem with all the Saw movies from #2 until now; they're nothing but contracts signed and checks cashed. The death machines have been intermittently gut-splosiony enough to satisfy gorehounds like me, but they've taken on a blurry sameness that make you yawn instead of yell. More than once in this movie (more than twice, even) characters say, "Game over" like they mean it. I wish someone behind the camera would.
The Ways Victims Die: In a three-way sawing machine inside a giant glass box in broad daylight, in public, with people watching and--nice touch--filming it with their camera phones; via car running over a woman's head while the same car tears two other people in half; in one of those face-crunching metal masks; roasted alive in a giant robotic oven; blown up, stabbed and left to rot and starve. It's a wonderful life.
Silliest Conceit: The same one they've been peddling since the first movie, which is that if you survive a Jigsaw trap then somehow you become born again and appreciative of how valuable your life is. To that end, this movie as well as most of the others makes sure that the victims are confronted with mom-like lunch box messages as often as possible ("Value your loved ones!") while they make their way through raw sewage to find the key to unlock the box to stop the impalement of their girlfriend. That last bit was just an example, it's not another way people die here.
3D Tickets Cost Up To $4.00 More Than Regular Tickets: Save your money. The whole thing looks like they rubbed the camera lenses with oily dishwater and the few moments where they throw some guts and blood at you were already done better in Piranha 3-D. "The traps come alive" in the trailer, but not here.