|Directed by||David Hackl|
|Produced by||Gregg Hoffman
|Screenplay by||Patrick Melton
|Music by||Charlie Clouser|
|Editing by||Kevin Greutert|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Saw V is a 2008 Canadian-American horror film directed by David Hackl and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan and stars Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Mark Rolston and Carlo Rota. The film, the fifth installment in the Saw franchise, was released on October 24 in North America.
David Hackl, who served as the production designer of Saw II, III, and IV, and second-unit director for Saw III and IV made his directorial debut with Saw V. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the writers of the previous film, returned to write the film. Charlie Clouser, who provided the score for all previous Saw films, also returned to compose the score for the film. Saw creators, James Wan and Leigh Whannell served as executive producers.
Convicted murderer Seth Baxter (Joris Jarsky) awakens chained to a table beneath a pendulum blade. A videotape informs him that crushing his hands between the presses will release him; he does so, but the blade still swings down and violently cuts him in half, while someone watches through a hole in the wall. Trapped in the sickroom, Agent Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) finds a hidden passage but is put in a test where his head sealed in a box slowly filling with water. He manages to survive by performing a tracheotomy using a pen. Outside the plant, Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) delivers Corbett Denlon (Niamh Wilson) to the police and claims they are the only survivors, and is shocked when Strahm is brought out alive as well.
Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell) is met by John Kramer's (Tobin Bell) attorney, who is administering his will. She is left a box and a videotape, in which John stresses the importance of the box's contents. She opens it with a key hung around her neck and then leaves without disclosing its contents. In a memorial service held for David Tapp, Steven Sing, Allison Kerry, Eric Matthews, and Daniel Rigg, the five officers killed in action, Hoffman is promoted to detective lieutenant. He is informed of the death of Agent Lindsey Perez while taking Strahm's phone and finds an unsigned letter that says "I know who you are" and goes to the hospital to meet Strahm, who says that Hoffman's name was Perez's last words. Strahm is also met by his boss, Dan Erickson (Mark Rolston), who takes him off the case. Strahm then takes case files to research them on his own, determined to piece together Hoffman's involvement.
In an underground chamber, Ashley (Laura Gordon), Brit (Julie Benz), Charles (Carlo Rota), Luba (Meagan Good) and Mallick (Greg Bryk) awaken with collars connected to mounted blades locked around their necks. The keys are in glass boxes across the room, though advancing will set off a one-minute timer. A videotape tells them to ignore their instincts during their tests. Mallick activates the timer, and everyone reaches their keys except Ashley, who is decapitated when the collars retract. In the next room, the four learn more about each other and Ashley, and learn by videotape that keys to the three shelters are in overhead jars. Brit, Luba and Mallick retrieve keys, but Charles attacks and takes it from Mallick, only to be struck by Luba and left to die in the explosion. In the third room, five short cables must be connected to a full bathtub to unlock the door. Luba tries to use Mallick's body to close the circuits, but Brit kills her and they use her body instead. In the fourth room, they find a machine fitted with circular saws and a beaker that requires ten pints of blood to open the door. They notice five armholes and realize that every room was set up for the victims to work together to survive the game. They also realize that everyone was connected through a building fire that killed eight people. With no other options, they saw their arms to provide the ten pints of blood.
Meanwhile, Strahm travels to past game locations and learns through his research that Seth Baxter was convicted of murdering Hoffman's sister, but was released five years later on a technicality. He was later murdered by Hoffman, who used the pendulum blade to frame Jigsaw. Angered by this, John used his knowledge of the murder to coerce Hoffman into working with him, and together they set up the majority of the games, most notably the razor-wire maze, where Hoffman planted Lawrence Gordon's penlight, and the nerve gas house, where he provided the police files. Strahm ultimately learns that everyone was meant to die in the plant except Corbett and Hoffman, who would give her to the police and be the hero who closed the case. Strahm soon draws Erickson's worry, which is fueled when Jill approaches him claiming that Strahm is stalking her. He is also called by Hoffman, who tells him of Strahm's belief in another accomplice.
Erickson puts a tracker on Strahm's phone and follows it to the current game's observation room, where Hoffman had planted it along with Erickson's file. He finds Brit, who crawled from the fourth room after Mallick passed out, and calls for medical assistance before placing an APB on Strahm, believing that he is the accomplice. Simultaneously, Strahm follows Hoffman to the renovated nerve gas house and finds an underground room containing a clear box filled with broken glass. Hoffman's tape urges Strahm to enter the box, but he stops it short and ambushes Hoffman, sealing him in the box after a brief struggle. The room then seals itself, and the tape continues by saying that if he does not, he will vanish and the legacy will become his. The box is lowered safely into the floor while the walls close in on Strahm, who attempts to escape through the ceiling grid, and is crushed to death.
Saw V was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, and the film went into production after Christmas 2007. Principal photography took place from March 17, 2008 to April 28, 2008 in Toronto. By mid–July 2008, there had been three photos released of David Hackl at the set of Saw V. The first trailer, depicting Agent Strahm's box trap, was released at Comic-Con 08 as a short clip and the trailer was also shown before The X-Files: I Want to Believe. The website opened on August 6, 2008. On September 17, 2008, a new clip was available on the Saw V website, depicting the Pendulum Trap.
Box office 
In its opening weekend, Saw V grossed $30 million in 3,060 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking number two at the box office behind High School Musical 3: Senior Year. It grossed $56,746,769 in the United States and Canada, and an additional $57,110,764 in other markets, for a worldwide total of $113,857,533. This was the second film in the series to not be number one at the box office, the first was the first film. It is Lionsgate's tenth highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada.
Critical reception 
The film received generally negative reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 14% of critics gave the film positive reviews, making it the second poorest-reviewed film in the series, losing to the most recent Saw 3D. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus states "If its plot were as interesting as its torture devices, or its violence less painful than its performances, perhaps Saw V might not feel like it was running on fumes." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 19 out of 100, based on 12 reviews.
Elizabeth Weizman of the New York Daily News believed that the lack of Tobin Bell's Jigsaw character hurt the film: "Bell's deliciously twisted madman was the lifeline of this series, and without him, we're left watching a routine horror flick that might as well have gone straight to DVD. The series began with two major assets that set it apart: the concept of a brilliantly righteous executioner, and the actor who played him. Now, aside from Bell's brief, intermittent cameos, it has neither. So where the original Saw was diabolical fun, this fifth installment is as bloodless as the most unfortunate of Jigsaw's victims." Sam Adams of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "The virtues of the individual films are almost beside the point, since it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to pick up the thread at this late date, but Saw V is a particularly dull and discombobulated affair, shot and acted with all the flair of a basic-cable procedural".
Some reviews were positive, however. The British website Digital Spy rated it 3/5 stars and commended the film for its "solid acting, slick direction and suitably filthy cinematography too", while also stating it will "make far more sense to those familiar with the previous installments". IGN awarded the film with 3 out of 5 stars stating that the film ties up most of the loose ends of the previous 4 installments while also having a more straightforward and less complicated storyline. They also praised the traps for being the most inventive and best that the Saw franchise has had to offer.
Home media 
Unrated Director's Cut 
During an interview at the 2008 Scream Awards, David Hackl claimed that his director's cut of Saw V (released on DVD January 20, 2009), would run approximately 14 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. Hackl also stated that a number of scenes in the film would be re-ordered and arranged differently than in the theatrical cut. However, only a few changes were made and the extra footage was never released, running only four minutes longer than the theatrical version.
Unrated Collector's Edition 
A collector's edition is available with exclusive packaging. It features sound effects, a collector's booklet, and a spinning "saw blade". The features on the DVD itself are the same as the standard Unrated Director's Cut.
The soundtrack was released on October 21, 2008 by Artists' Addiction Records.
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- Unrated Collector's Edition Pic
- Saw V (Unrated Collector's Edition)
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- Official website
- Saw V at the Internet Movie Database
- Saw V at AllRovi
- Saw V at Box Office Mojo
- Saw V at Metacritic
- Saw V at Rotten Tomatoes