Halloween Midnight Franchise – Saw V (2008)

Director: David Hackl

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Mark Rolston

 

Plot: Following Jigsaw’s grisly demise, Mark Hoffman is commended as a hero, but Agent Strahm is suspicious, and delves into Hoffman’s past. Meanwhile, another group of people are put through a series of gruesome tests.


Tagline – In the end all the pieces will fit together

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Arc, Pointless Game

 

Story: Saw V starts where we finished the last film, Hoffman (Mandylor) locking Agent Strahm (Patterson) in the death room of John, Strahm must go on his own test to make it out of the warehouse where he ends up in a trap using his intelligence to survive the impossible to escape trap.

Hoffman considered a hero now gets a promotion and gets known as the man who stop Jigsaw, Jill Tuck (Russell) gets a message from John (Bell) following his death with a box that will have clues on what to do next. Hoffman is presenting his own game with five victims needing to escape the tasks they are placed in with Brit (Benz), Luba (Good), Charles, Mallick and Ashley being involved. Strahm taken off active duty starts looking into Hoffman himself, while Hoffman tries to lead Strahm replacement into believing it is him.

 

Thoughts on Saw V

 

Characters – John is long dead now, but in this film we learn how he recruit Hoffman to be part of his team, we see how he passes on the ideas believing Hoffman has better control than Amanda. Hoffman is now in control of the games, he is running his own while also trying to shift the suspicious surrounding him, placing it on Strahm. Agent Strahm survives one of the games to the surprise of Hoffman, now he is placed on leave but doesn’t want to rest until he can get his proof Hoffman is the man behind the traps. The people in the game include Jill as they all have a connection to what is the bigger picture.

PerformancesTobin Bell is the presence we all have come to know in the franchise and while only in a smaller role he is good, Costas Mandylor steps up to the starring role as we see the clogs turning through each scene he is in. Scott Patterson is also good in the desperate detective figure. It the rest of the cast which are fine with their roles but not to the level we believe they should be at.

StoryThe story is split into the bigger picture as we learn how Hoffman is involved with the Jigsaw murders and how he must keep on top of his true identity to stay in the game. The otherwise seems like a random game which doesn’t seem to have any connection to what is going on in the bigger picture which takes us away from the film. this is why I both enjoy and hate this franchise, I love the bigger picture side of the film but hate the pointless games we watch.

Horror/MysteryThe gore used is heavy for the film but it is strange that the horror side of the film only seems to come from the games which don’t involve the biggest and best part of the film, the mystery side to where things will go next.

SettingsThe settings continue to show us the warehouse feeling where the games need to make them feel like the characters are hitting rock bottom.

Special EffectsThe effects do looks great still with most coming off practical throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final game.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The five person game did feel almost pointless to the bigger story.

Final ThoughtsThis does continue to have a great bigger picture storyline but it does fill in the gaps with mindless gore.

 

Overall: Solid continuation of the Hoffman story.

Rating

 

 

Director: David Hackl

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Mark Rolston

 

Plot: Following Jigsaw’s grisly demise, Mark Hoffman is commended as a hero, but Agent Strahm is suspicious, and delves into Hoffman’s past. Meanwhile, another group of people are put through a series of gruesome tests.


Tagline – In the end all the pieces will fit together

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Arc, Pointless Game

 

Story: Saw V starts where we finished the last film, Hoffman (Mandylor) locking Agent Strahm (Patterson) in the death room of John, Strahm must go on his own test to make it out of the warehouse where he ends up in a trap using his intelligence to survive the impossible to escape trap.

Hoffman considered a hero now gets a promotion and gets known as the man who stop Jigsaw, Jill Tuck (Russell) gets a message from John (Bell) following his death with a box that will have clues on what to do next. Hoffman is presenting his own game with five victims needing to escape the tasks they are placed in with Brit (Benz), Luba (Good), Charles, Mallick and Ashley being involved. Strahm taken off active duty starts looking into Hoffman himself, while Hoffman tries to lead Strahm replacement into believing it is him.

 

Thoughts on Saw V

 

Characters – John is long dead now, but in this film we learn how he recruit Hoffman to be part of his team, we see how he passes on the ideas believing Hoffman has better control than Amanda. Hoffman is now in control of the games, he is running his own while also trying to shift the suspicious surrounding him, placing it on Strahm. Agent Strahm survives one of the games to the surprise of Hoffman, now he is placed on leave but doesn’t want to rest until he can get his proof Hoffman is the man behind the traps. The people in the game include Jill as they all have a connection to what is the bigger picture.

PerformancesTobin Bell is the presence we all have come to know in the franchise and while only in a smaller role he is good, Costas Mandylor steps up to the starring role as we see the clogs turning through each scene he is in. Scott Patterson is also good in the desperate detective figure. It the rest of the cast which are fine with their roles but not to the level we believe they should be at.

StoryThe story is split into the bigger picture as we learn how Hoffman is involved with the Jigsaw murders and how he must keep on top of his true identity to stay in the game. The otherwise seems like a random game which doesn’t seem to have any connection to what is going on in the bigger picture which takes us away from the film. this is why I both enjoy and hate this franchise, I love the bigger picture side of the film but hate the pointless games we watch.

Horror/MysteryThe gore used is heavy for the film but it is strange that the horror side of the film only seems to come from the games which don’t involve the biggest and best part of the film, the mystery side to where things will go next.

SettingsThe settings continue to show us the warehouse feeling where the games need to make them feel like the characters are hitting rock bottom.

Special EffectsThe effects do looks great still with most coming off practical throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final game.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The five person game did feel almost pointless to the bigger story.

Final ThoughtsThis does continue to have a great bigger picture storyline but it does fill in the gaps with mindless gore.

 

Overall: Solid continuation of the Hoffman story.

Rating

 

 

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Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)

grizzyDirector: David Hackl

Writer: Guy Moshe, J.R. Reher (Screenplay) J.R. Reher (Story)

Starring: James Marsden, Thomas Jane, Piper Perabo, Scott Glenn, Michaela McManus, Billy Bob Thornton, Adam Beach

 

Plot: Two estranged brothers reunite at their childhood home in the Alaskan wild. They set out on a two-day hike and are stalked by an unrelenting grizzly bear.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Monster Movie

 

Story: Into the Grizzly Maze starts when Rowan (Marsden) returns to his home town to search for someone believed to be lost in the famous Grizzly Maze. He gets a chance to make amends with his estranged brother Beckett (Jane) who just so happens to be one of the sheriffs in town along with Sully (Glenn). When the hunting teams have been illegally hunting bears, but one bear has been taking humans out in the most violent ways possible.

Douglass (Thornton) a bear expert wants to go and hunt this killer bear while Beckett is against this he needs to go and protect his wife Michelle (Perabo) who is in the maze and his brother but who will make it out the maze alive?

Into the Grizzly Maze really does come to the simple concept of man against nature as we have our small group of survivors trying to get away from a killer bear. The story does come off as a way to try and campaign against hunting which I know I wrong in its own right. I found myself actually cheering for the bear because the most of the human characters are the reason why the bear is acting the way it is. I personally found this an easy watch with the story but found myself getting slightly annoyed with the way the bear only attacks the disposable characters and letting our main characters getting enough time to react.

 

Actor Review

 

James Marsden: Rowan returns to town to find a guide who had been helping poachers that has gone missing in the woods, he knows the woods better than most people but having to spend time with his estranged brother Beckett shows the different mind-set both have about the bears. Rowan wants to get into town and out before anyone he knows, knows he is back in town. James is solid in this role but is never the most convincing in the character’s actions.

Thomas Jane: Beckett is the deputy in town that has been going out of his way to make sure the bears are tagged and protected from hunters. He remained in the town while his brother left, but when the bears start attacking people he must find his wife and brother in the maze and stop the killer bear. Thomas is an actor who has battled sharks but this time he is just the sheriff in the town nothing special.

Piper Perabo: Michelle is the deaf wife of Beckett, she spends plenty of time in the woods trying to stop hunters plans but this is a bad day for here when we learn the killer bear is fighting back. She must use her experience to survive with the rest, but for some reason she reacts to sounds. Piper does ok but sometimes seems to forget her character is deaf as she reacts to the sounds.

Billy Bob Thornton: Douglass is a hunter that has been hunting bears for years, he knows how to track them and stay out of trouble. He hunts for the killer bear with just his horse and gun. He isn’t afraid to kill anything that gets in his way. Billy is good as we only see him in spells because of the nature of his character.

Support Cast: Into the Grizzly Maze has a supporting cast which mostly are disposable with Kaley being there just so the better known actors don’t get hurt early on.

Director Review: David HacklDavid gives us an easy to watch action horror that isn’t the most challenging but simple.

 

Action: Into the Grizzly Maze uses the action side of this for the bear attacks which all come off quite realistic throughout.

Horror: Into the Grizzly Maze puts our characters in the battle for their lives which is the horror side of the story.

Thriller: Into the Grizzly Maze does keep us guessing to wonder what will happen next.

Settings: Into the Grizzly Maze puts us into the middle of the woods which is a great setting for this to take place in.
Special Effects
: Into the Grizzly Maze has average effects, the basic attacks all look good but when we see the kills the CGI is clear.

Suggestion: Into the Grizzly Maze is one to try, it is an easy watch that could be enjoyed by all. (Try IT)

 

Best Part: The bear.

Worst Part: CGI

Action Scene Of The Film: Final act.

Kill Of The Film: Final one.

 

Believability: Parts could happen even though this goes onto a bigger story.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: Hunt or be hunted.

 

Overall: Easy to watch monster creature feature that keeps you on edge till the end.

Ratingcard