Although Detective Eric Mathews (Donnie Wahlberg) has finally caught up with the serial killer known as Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), the psycho still has one big ace up his sleeve. At an unknown location, eight people are breathing in a deadly nerve gas and have only two hours to live. Eight people, including the cop’s only son..
Arriving last Halloween without a whiff of hype, psycho thriller Saw became a surprise hit, raking in millions at the UK box office. If anything, the sequel improves upon its predecessor’s perverse fascination with Seven-style murders and brutally violent puzzles. Individual set-pieces crank up the tension to a tasty level of hysteria as the clock ticks down in Jigsaw’s house of pain. Blood is splattered, sprayed and spewed across the floorboards, but the story also spends a little time fleshing out the background motivations of a killer whose intellectual games make Hannibal Lecter look like the compiler of The Sun’s quick crossword. Wahlberg’s dodgy cop might be a hardboiled cliché from his rumpled tie to his short-fuse temper, but the film itself regularly veers off the expected path, catching out the audience with inventive tricks and gruesome treats.
Morally dubious it may be, but this gory melange of torture, terror and darkly humorous depravity appeals to the sick puppy within us all.