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I saw the newest spin-off of the Saw franchise this weekend, Spiral: From the Book of Saw. After seeing that film, I thought it would be interesting to go back and re-watch this film. I only saw this film once years ago and oh my god after seeing it again I now remember just how atrocious and unbearable it is. This is absolutely one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Saw: The Final Chapter makes Spiral look like a Best Picture Oscar Winner. The script is awful, the production values are a joke, the “story” is a mess, the acting is subpar at best, and it’s just plain boring.
This film was supposed to be thrilling and exhilarating right? I just want to make sure that was the goal because when watching this film you’re not sure there even was a goal at all. Lame is a great word to describe this thing. This “finale” to the original Saw franchise just reeks of cheapness. In almost every single scene, I would look at what was onscreen and wonder what the budget was for this. This looks like a cheap careless made for TV movie on the SyFy channel. It’s truly amazing comparing this film’s production values to those of Spiral.
Another aspect of the visuals and production values that are just flat out awful is the over top carnage. The gore and spilling of guts in this film is all so obviously fake and overblown. There is no shock anymore and there’s certainly no feeling attached to any of it because of how fake it comes off. There’s also very little suspense or tension to any of these traps because we all know how they’re most likely to turn out. The opening trap is especially poorly done and flat, offering up no creativity or thrill of any kind. But then again that’s the theme of this entire film: no creativity or thrill.
Speaking of lacking creativity, let’s talk about the very intricate plot of Saw: The Final Chapter shall we?? The plot of this thing is both all over the place and lame at the same time. The script is just so excruciatingly lazy and one note all throughout. We go from one boring predictable trap to the next and then we occasionally flip to the police trying to track down Hoffman. Why should we care??!
This franchise doesn’t know how to craft a story that viewers will give a damn about. Everything is just so bland and predictable and yes gruesome, but gruesome without any meaning at all. I feel like a middle schooler could’ve written a script that was more interesting than this lazy bore. You would hope that at least one of the two stories this film follows would be at least a little intriguing but they’re just not.
The goal of this film is to try to shock and gross you out by the ridiculous traps it sets. The goal is never about telling a thrilling horror story. Because there is absolutely no effort to tell us an interesting scary story, we’re forced to sit back and watch a painfully dull gross out film that has nothing to say about anything and looks like a crappy TV movie. At least Spiral actually tried to lay out a somewhat interesting story to follow and actually added some thrill to the traps aspect.
I wish I could say that at least in the midst of all this crap there were some decent performances but alas I can’t even say that. I mean I guess the acting isn’t god awful but it’s certainly not good either. Costas Mandylor is a snore in this, his villainous performance is completely one note and uninteresting. Betsy Russell is just okay at best; all she really does is stare intensely and then run frantically from whoever is after her.
Sean Patrick Flanery gives a decent performance for sure but even his performance isn’t one I’d rave about. Cary Elwes reprises his role as Dr. Gordon from the first film and honestly he’s pretty laughable in this. He’s just so over the top and fake in his scenes. Of course there really isn’t anything at all on the page for him so maybe it’s not his fault.
I tried to come up with one single positive thing to say about this film and I could only think of one. The one thing this atrocious film has in its favor is Chad Donella. He actually gives a good performance and is the one thing I liked watching here.
Saw: The Final Chapter is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. This entry in the Saw franchise has the production values of a crappy TV movie, has a dull mess of a “plot” with nothing to say about anything, is repetitive and ultra predictable, and only has one small performance that’s any good. Avoid this thing like the plague!
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