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Saw: The Final Chapter (2010)

All the cards are on the table. Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his associates, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) and Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell), are out in the open and their motives are seemingly uncovered. Saw: The Final Chapter involves an Internal Affairs agent, Gibson (Chad Donella), as he tries to discover their truths and end the story of Jigsaw once and for all. As their story begins to unravel, a group exploiting the Jigsaw games for profit are being tested. Survivor Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery) has used his story to write books and create support groups for those who have been a part of Jigsaw’s legacy, his exploitation of these other survivors (including Saw alum, Cary Elwes--Dr. Lawrence Gordon), and Jigsaw himself, lands him, and the ones he loves, in one of John Kramer’s most twisted games yet. 


Jigsaw’s story has now spanned seven films, and each installment of the Saw series dives deeper into his demented story of death and rebirth. For the first time, John Kramer takes a backseat to his apprentices and leaves them in charge of the film’s story. More than just a testament to this film, the development of Jill and Mark over the course of the series has been done so well that their story is strong enough to guide the final chapter in the Jigsaw saga. A slew of writers worked on developing stories and characters, including Leigh Whannell and James Wan. They, along with the rest of the incredibly talented crew, developed such beautifully dark stories that audiences became attached to even the most terrible characters in the series. Mark and Jill possess a darkness that many are not able to relate to, but their impeccable development, along with the pure talent of Russell and Mandylor, has drawn in viewers and allowed them to feel an odd connection to these antagonists. 


John Kramer’s intentions have been clear since the beginning, however, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton found a way to develop his goals even further. The emphasis on rebirth is strong throughout Saw: The Final Chapter, but it becomes clear that personal struggle, strength and understanding are the prizes that survivors are awarded. In some demented ways, this development touches audiences and provides them an understanding of success that many stories are unable to create. This film, like the rest of the Saw series, is twisted and dark, however, the underlying theme of appreciating your own accomplishments and not focusing on what those around you think about you shines brightly and paves a way for emotional rebirth within the viewers. 


Creating three-dimensional horror films in the early to mid-2000’s grew increasingly more popular as it made audiences feel as if they were inside of the action. The issue with this cinematic revelation is that in order for the visuals to pop out of the screen, they need to be over-exaggerated. Sadly, director Kevin Greutert and his crew determined that the inclusion of the third dimension. The melodramatic visuals dulled the narrative and relied too heavily on jump scares to engage the audience. While the sentiment behind adding new visuals and new dimensions of fright are appreciated, it took away from the overall experience. 


The story, the characters and the deeper psychological meaning, like in the first six films, are beautifully done and lure audiences into a mesmerizing and vivid story of emotion. Even with the shortcomings of the somewhat cheesy graphics, the story still held enough weight to keep audiences engaged and effectively wrap up the story of Jigsaw. The series, as a whole, was created with such cohesion that it compares to some of the greatest series of all time. With very few plot holes, and even fewer contention errors, the Saw franchise is a testament to its crew’s great writing and storytelling. With the greatest revelation yet, Saw: The Final Chapter wonderfully and purposefully concludes the story of John Kramer. Or does it?



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