Our First Reader Review for ‘Saw II’ Sees Red!

When I see he saw red, he literally saw red- gallons of it! Inside you’ll find our first quality reader review for Lions Gate Films’ Saw II, which hits theaters October 28th. This reader was not only blown away by the performances, but the sheer brutality he saw on the big screen. Read on for his review of Darren Bousman’s film, which stars Donnie Wahlberg, Franky G., Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Beverley Mitchell, Eric Knudsen, Shawnee Smith, Dina Meyer and Tobin Bell…
Saw II Review:
By Scott Dawson

I see that you don’t have a review for Saw 2 yet, so I wrote up a quick one. I’ve never written a review before, so forgive me if it’s not up to par.

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at Lion’s Gate Films’ corporate headquarters for a test screening of “Saw 2”. I had helped man the booth for the horror comedy success “The Janitor” at the recent Necrocomicon convention, where Lion’s Gate had spread “Saw 2” merchandise everywhere. We heard from the guys that put on the convention earlier today and they told my friend and me they had put us on the guest list for the screening. I had enjoyed the first film, but hadn’t really been a hardcore fan of it, so I was skeptical from the get-go when it came to the sequel- the well made sequel- the very well made, very bloody, sadistically violent sequel, in fact. I can’t think of any other possible way they could have made this movie, nothing to change, and nothing to omit.

That is just a matter of opinion of course, there are still some cringe-worthy acting moments, but I think the cringe-worthy and very creative violence they squeezed into the film more than make up for it. I would give anything to be able to spoil the entire movie in this review, it’s one of those you just can’t help but talk way too much about, and so I’ll hold back and try to keep this short and spoiler-free.

The look of the film is basically what you’d expect from a “Saw” sequel, it looks just like the first. However, I thought this was a very good thing, the new locations, characters, and deaths with the instantly classic “Saw” look we’ve come to know was a very cool experience. I mentioned that the acting wasn’t the greatest in some parts, but that’s mostly towards the beginning and I easily became entranced by the characters once the mayhem began. Speaking of, the mayhem begins very early in the film, and never really lets up. It seemed to me that the movie was running at a tortuous breakneck speed most of the time. There is a lot of the “Saw” rapid-fire montages and violent quick-cutting during the more strenuous moments. In spite of this, the film seems to relish in leaving the violence on screen a bit more than expected, numerous times I’d expect it to cut away from something, but I’d be surprised by even more being shown.

Especially the startling last death of the film, it was glorious. The acting was sometimes surprisingly good, the reactions and pain of the actors was frighteningly real, but the best performance has to go to Tobin Bell as the Jigsaw killer. Donnie Wahlberg does a decent job as the hardened police officer, his stress breakdown goes over very convincingly, and Shawnee Smith does a great job with her Amanda character from the first “Saw”. She is involved in an extremely intense scene involving some syringes (I won’t say how many) that is sure to have lots of moviegoers squirming in their seats.

So, wrapping this up, the movie starts quickly (with the venus fly trap mask most people have at least seen pictures of) and ends even quicker, with way more carnage than expected crammed in the middle. What’s more, look forward to another incredible twist ending, actually a few twists, that forced me to start laughing out loud in the screening room. Laughing in a good way though, the same reaction you had when Jigsaw stood up and walked out in the end of the first film. This could easily be even more intense than that, because the twists just don’t stop coming. The filmmakers also do an excellent job of wrapping up any “loose ends” left over from the first film. I’ll stop at that, before I am too tempted to spoil everything.