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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

‘Saw V’ another disappointment

Film: Saw V

Director: David Hackl

Producers: Mark Burg, Oren Koules

Writers: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan

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Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson

Runtime: 92 minutes

Rating: R


I really wish I could give the creators of the “Saw” franchise some credit. After all, they could have simply cashed in on the strength of the franchise’s name and made mindless sequels for years to come. Instead, they tried to do for horror what “The Dark Knight” did for comic book films — make them serious, legitimate sources of entertainment. And although their aim is admirable, their execution is abysmal.

After the reveal in “IV” that he’s the last apprentice of Jigsaw (Bell), detective Hoffman (Mandylor) believes he’s succeeded in keeping his true identity a secret. However, FBI agent Strahm (Patterson), the only other person left who was working on the Jigsaw case, miraculously survives one of Jigsaw’s traps. Complicating things, Strahm has a strong suspicion that former apprentice Amanda was not the only one enacting the will of Jigsaw. He begins to pursue a lead, which puts him on a collision course with Hoffman who will stop at nothing to keep his murderous past a secret.

The first two “Saw” flicks were standalone, and it should come as no surprise that they’re the best thus far. “Saw III,” “IV” and “V” aren’t so much sequels as just one part of the same movie. Think “Lord of the Rings” except really terrible. This may seem like something the creators should be rewarded for, but it’s really killing the series. We don’t care about these one dimensional FBI agents and by-the-books detectives, just as much as we don’t really care about the origins of Jigsaw. Yet these characters and history get crammed down our throats. The need to connect the plots together is so forced that there are leaps in logic so big that they even defy the lax laws of Hollywood.

This ridiculous plot is made even worse by the convoluted story telling. I applauded the creators in the early installments for bringing in new talent to each film. In those films I was more willing to overlook some of the more obvious flaws, but now that they’re in the fifth movie, it’s time to bring in someone who knows what they’re doing.

There are so many aspects of “V” that are below amateurish that it would be impossible to cover every single one of them. The unnecessarily confusing and headache-inducing cinematography makes an unfortunate return, the laughably wooden acting is just as cringe worthy as before and the cliché dialogue is just as grating on the ears. However, it’s the editing that’s the main offender this time around. Scenes are strung together almost as if the editor was on meth. They move too fast and there’s no rhyme or reason to their order.

This ultimately exposes the other main flaw: the pacing. Despite moving at a blazing speed, the plot progresses very little in such a long period of time. In terms of the continuing story, “V” seems to carry the plot just a few moments from the events in “IV.”

But a “Saw” flick can have all these flaws and still be good, if only one simple need is met – some awesome, stomach-turning traps. And although the first three succeeded in this, “Saw V” is a complete and utter failure. Not only are they tame in comparison to the previous films, but they feel like rejected ideas from the first four. The sad thing is, the creators don’t seem to care about them anymore, instead focusing on the God-awful plot. But it’s the traps, and traps alone, that keep people lining up year after year. In a sense, the writers are turning their backs on what made the series so memorable in the first place.

Unfortunately, many of the problems found in “Saw V” are problems that stem from the manner in which the franchise has been set up. Because of flaws in “Saw III” and “Saw IV,” “Saw V” was doomed before they ever began filming it. And because of the mistakes made in “Saw V,” “Saw VI” is going to be terrible as well. The sad fact is that “Saw” is officially dead.

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