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Saw V is a horror film directed by David Hackl and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. It was the fifth film in the Saw franchise and was released on October 23, 2008.

Plot

A convicted murderer named Seth Baxter, who was prematurely released from prison due to a technicality, awakes in a trap and finds himself strapped to a table beneath a giant pendulum blade. He has 60 seconds to insert both of his hands into two vises next to him and press a button, which will activate the vises, crush his hands, and stop the swinging blade, which comes closer and closer to his body. Eventually, he accomplishes his task in time. However, the pendulum does not come to a halt, and Seth is brutally cut in half nonetheless, while an unknown person observes his death from the next room.

The scene shifts to the Gideon Meatpacking Plant, where Special Agent Peter Strahm is locked up in a room by Detective Mark Hoffman, alongside the corpses of John Kramer, Amanda Young, Jeff Denlon, and Dr. Lynn Denlon. Strahm eventually discovers a hidden door with a tape recorder behind it. The recording warns him to stay in the room and wait for reinforcements, telling him that it could either be his sanctuary or his grave. Strahm, however, ignores the warning and proceeds through the secret hallway, where he is suddenly attacked and subdued by a pig-masked figure. When he wakes up again, he finds himself in one of Jigsaw's traps with his head trapped in a glass cube, which quickly fills with water. Before running out of air, Strahm performs a tracheotomy on himself with a pen. Meanwhile, the police arrive at the plant, just as Hoffman leaves it with a rescued Corbett Denlon. Meanwhile, Strahm is carried out on a gurney, severely injured but still alive.

Following the death of John Kramer, his ex-wife, Jill Tuck, is called by his executor, Bernie Feldman. He gives her a videotape left for her by John in case of his death. Along with the tape, Feldman hands her a black box, which she opens with a key attached to her necklace. Jill is shocked and surprised as she looks inside but leaves the office without telling Feldman what is in the box.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Police announces the end of the Jigsaw murders and promotes Hoffman to Detective Lieutenant for his efforts in solving the case. However, when Hoffman returns to his office, he finds a letter on his desk, reading, "I know who you are." Shortly afterward, he is informed that Special Agent Lindsey Perez succumbed to her injuries from the events of Saw IV. When he visits Strahm at the hospital to console him on her death, Strahm tells him that her last words had been "Detective Hoffman." As this results in an argument between them, Hoffman leaves the room. Later, Strahm is visited by his supervisor, Special Agent Dan Erickson, who informs him that he is off the case on his orders.

Following his visit to the hospital, Hoffman goes to an underground catacomb area, where he has already set up his next game. Five people - Ashley Kazon, Charles Salomon, Luba Gibbs, Brit Stevenson, and Mallick Scott - wake up in a room with leather collars around their necks. All five neckbands are connected through a cord. A video tells them that they were chosen for this game because they selfishly wasted certain advantages given to them at birth. If they do not manage to obtain the keys to their collars, which are located in five glass boxes in front of them, they will be decapitated after 60 seconds by large, v-shaped blades mounted to the wall behind them. If they do nothing, they will be killed by several nail bombs connected to a 15-minute-timer. One by one, the prisoners retrieve the keys, except for Ashley, who is pulled back into one of the blades and dies.

In the next room, the remaining survivors find 16 glass jars suspended from the ceiling, as well as more bombs. Another tape recording informs them about four chambers in the walls that can provide shelter from the explosion. The keys to these chambers are in the jars. However, only three of them fit the locks. As a 60-second-timer starts to count down, Charles attacks Mallick and brutally batters him, stating that one of them had to die inevitably. As he smashes the glasses, Brit and Luba each get their hands on one of the keys. Just as Charles finds a key for himself, he is attacked by Luba. Embracing the opportunity, Mallick grabs the key and goes into the third chamber. Moments later, Charles is killed by the explosion.

As Luba, Brit, and Mallick enter the next room, they dig deeper into their past to find a possible connection between them. Thereby, Mallick admits that he had caused the death of eight people but states that he did not intend this to happen. Luba tells them that she has taken bribes during her work for the Department of City Planning. Brit, the vice president of a real estate company, regularly has to tear down older buildings to build new ones, causing many people to lose their living spaces. As they receive the instructions for their next test, they are told to connect five cords to the water of a bathtub in the middle of the room. By closing the circuits, they can open the next door. The cords, however, are too short, and therefore, Luba and Mallick engage in a fight as she tells him to go in the bathtub while she and Brit connect the cords to his body. Before she can kill him, she is stabbed in the neck by Brit. Afterward, she and Mallick use Luba's body instead and successfully open the door and escape the room.

As they enter the final room, they find a large machine with five holes on both sides and a circular saw in each hole. Another tape reveals that they have to shove their arms into the blades to sacrifice ten pints of blood, which will result in the opening of the final door. As Brit and Mallick prepare themselves for the last test, they realize that they were all supposed to work together the entire time, which would have enabled all five of them to live. Every key from the first test could have been used to unlock every collar, meaning that they only needed one key at all. The safety chambers in the second room were all big enough for more than one person. In the third room, every one of them was supposed to hold one cord and only receive a minimal electric shock. With no other option left, the two of them put their hands in the holes and sacrifice their blood, which flows into a beaker. Eventually, they manage to fill it and thereby win their game.

At the same time as the first game begins, Peter Strahm leaves the hospital and decides to continue the investigation on his own. As he is convinced that Detective Hoffman is the remaining accomplice of the Jigsaw Killer, he reviews all the files of the case. Upon doing so, he finds out that Seth Baxter, who died at the beginning of the film, was the murderer of Detective Hoffman's sister, Angelina Acomb. To find out more about Hoffman's motives and connection to Jigsaw, Strahm revisits some of the old crime scenes.

Flashbacks reveal that Hoffman worked on the Jigsaw Case from the beginning. When Seth was released from prison despite having received a life sentence, Hoffman killed him and made the murder appear to be another one of Jigsaw's crimes. However, the real Jigsaw Killer found out about this and sent him a letter saying, "I know who you are." Shortly afterward, he abducted Hoffman and blackmailed him with the truth about Seth's death. Thereby, he forced the detective to help him. It is also revealed that Hoffman assisted Jigsaw in setting up several traps from the previous movies, such as Paul Leahy's test from the first film and the primary game of Saw II, and was also the one who faked the evidence against Dr. Lawrence Gordon.

As Strahm comes closer and closer to his secret, Hoffman throws Agent Erickson's suspicion on him. He sends Jill Tuck to his office, where she tells him that she believes to be observed and followed by Strahm. When Erickson leaves the building, shortly after his conversation with Jill, Hoffman uses Strahm's stolen mobile to call him but immediately hangs up and turns off the phone. Therefore, Erickson orders Special Agent Cowan to locate the phone's signal. Hoffman returns to the catacombs, where he activates the phone again and places it on a table in his surveillance room. Thereby, Cowan successfully locates it and informs Erickson about the address. He arrives there just as Brit and Mallick finish their game. When the agent finds Brit, she passes out from blood loss, and Erickson calls for an ambulance. As he further examines the room, he finds Strahm's phone, numerous photos of the latest victims, and a folder with pictures of himself. He orders Cowan to put out an APB on Strahm, as he believes that he is the successor of Jigsaw.

Meanwhile, Strahm follows Hoffman to a house, which turns out to be the renovated Nerve Gas House from Saw II. Inside, he finds the entrance to the hidden underground tunnel network. He eventually enters a room with a large glass coffin containing numerous broken glass shards and an audiotape. The tape, recorded by Hoffman, congratulates him for finding the room but urges him to go into the coffin, assuring him that this would be painful but was the only way to save himself. He stops the tape when he hears Hoffman coming closer and goes into hiding behind the door. As Hoffman enters the room, the two of them engage in a fight, with Hoffman eventually being locked up inside the coffin by Strahm. Seconds later, the door of the room slams shut. When Strahm demands to know how to open it, Hoffman calmly points at the tape. As Strahm continues the recording, he learns that he will die in this room if he does not enter the coffin. At the same time, the coffin is safely lowered down into a hollow space in the floor as the room's walls close in on Strahm, who unsuccessfully attempts to escape through the ceiling grid. Strahm is ultimately crushed to death, while Hoffman watches his demise from the coffin.

Cast

Production

The script of Saw V was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, who had already been responsible for writing Saw IV. It was directed by the production designer of the previous three films, David Hackl. While Mark Burg and Oren Koules also returned to produce the film, Leigh Whannell and James Wan were again credited as executive producers. Additionally, Gregg Hoffman was still listed as one of the producers, despite his death on December 4, 2005.

With a budget of approximately $10.8 million, principal photography took place in Toronto from March 17, 2008, to April 28, 2008. By mid-July 2008, there had been three photos released of David Hackl at the set of Saw V. The first trailer, which showed Agent Peter Strahm in the Water Cube Trap, was released at the San Diego Comic-Con as a short clip. The official website opened on August 6, 2008. A new clip became available on September 17, 2008, showing the film's intro sequence.

Release

Saw V was released in Australia on October 23, 2008, in North America and the United Kingdom on October 24, 2008, and in New Zealand on October 30, 2008. During an interview at the Scream Awards in 2008, David Hackl claimed that his Director's Cut of the film, released on January 20, 2009, would run approximately 14 minutes longer than the theatrical version. He also stated that several scenes in the movie would be re-ordered and arranged differently. However, only a few changes were made, and the extra footage was never released, making the Director's Cut merely four minutes longer than the theatrical version.

Reception

Saw V was a financial success despite receiving primarily unfavorable critics and reviews like its predecessors. The film grossed $30,053,954 in 3,060 theaters in the United States and Canada on its opening weekend. It earned $56,746,769 in the United States and Canada throughout the next weeks and $113,864,059 worldwide. Saw V received a rating of 12% from Rotten Tomatoes, while Metacritic gave it a score of 20 out of 100, based on 13 critics. While many reviewers criticized the plot and the overall acting, the traps scenes were praised for their creativity.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Saw V was composed by Charlie Clouser, who had already been responsible for the soundtrack of the previous films. It was released on October 21, 2008, by Artists' Addiction Records.

Original Score

1. Saw V Open

2. Seth Awake

3. Hello, Seth

4. Pendulum

5. Saw V Title

6. Strahm Flash

7. Head Cage

8. Live One

9. Feldman

10. Promotion

11. Off Case

12. I Know

13. Perez Flash

14. I'm A Hero

15. Hoffman Lair

16. Wire Room

17. Nail Bombs

18. Wire Trap

19. Being Smart

20. Strahm Files

21. See Ya Round

22. Gotcha

23. Your Story

24. Odd Man Out

25. The Fittest

26. Meet Jigsaw

27. Jigsaw Hall

28. Jigsaw Vator

29. Jigsaw Attack

30. Hair Trigger

31. True Edge

32. What It Takes

33. My Method

34. I Am Jigsaw

35. Rehabilitate

36. Strahm Theory

37. Wire Pipe

38. He Had Help

39. Drunk Pig

40. Fat Pig

41. Pigs Revealed

42. Bathtub

43. Erickson Garage

44. Next Nightmare

45. Hoffman Approach

46. Hello, Strahm

47. Hoffman Vs. Strahm

48. I Got You

49. Zepp Five

Complete Score

1. Saw V Open (Mix 1)

2. Saw V Open (Mix 2)

3. Seth Awake

4. Hello, Seth

5. Pendulum

6. Saw V Title (Mix 1)

7. Saw V Title (Mix 2)

8. Saw V Title (Mix 3)

9. Strahm Flash

10. Head Cage (Mix 1)

11. Head Cage (Mix 2)

12. Live One

13. Feldman

14. Promotion (Mix 1)

15. Promotion (Mix 2)

16. Erickson

17. Off Case

18. I Know

19. Perez Flash

20. I'm A Hero

21. Hoffman Lair (Mix 1)

22. Hoffman Lair (Mix 2)

23. Wire Room

24. Nail Bombs

25. Wire Trap (Mix 1)

26. Wire Trap (Mix 2)

27. Being Smart (Mix 1)

28. Being Smart (Mix 2)

29. Strahm Files

30. See Ya Round

31. Gotcha

32. Your Story

33. Odd Man Out

34. The Fittest

35. Meet Jigsaw

36. Jigsaw Hall

37. Jigsaw Vator

38. Jigsaw Attack

39. Hair Trigger (Mix 1)

40. Hair Trigger (Mix 2)

41. True Edge (Mix 1)

42. True Edge (Mix 2)

43. What It Takes (Mix 1)

44. What It Takes (Mix 2)

45. My Method

46. I Am Jigsaw

47. Rehabilitate

48. Strahm Theory

49. Wire Pipe

50. He Had Help

51. Drunk Pig

52. Fat Pig

53. Pigs Revealed

54. Bathtub

55. Erickson Garage

56. Next Nightmare

57. Hoffman Approach

58. Hello, Strahm

59. Hoffman Vs. Strahm

60. I Got You

61. Zepp Five

Additional Tracks

1. True Believer - Testament

2. Death and Destruction (A Vote of Non-Confidence Mix) - Ministry

3. What's Next (The Blood and Sand Mix) - Filter

4. Thanks Again, Again - The Almighty

5. The Banishment - Prong

6. The Dawning of Doom - Die Krupps

7. Power Player - Clutch

8. ugLi - Skinny Puppy

9. Strangers - William Control

11. Unlaced - Emilie Autumn

12. Blood and Music - Fixmer/McCarthy

13. Wizard of Sextown - Revolting Cocks

14. Date of Expiration - Funker Vogt

Trivia

  • When Strahm proceeds through the underground tunnels near the film's climax, he comes across a blood trail left by Eric Matthews after escaping from the bathroom in Saw III.
  • The shotgun tied to Detective Hoffman after his abduction is the same shotgun seen in Saw III as part of Timothy Young's trap.
  • It was initially conceived that both Brit and Luba would somehow lose their shirts in the first room and go through the rest of the film in just their bras. The idea was eventually thrown out of respect the producers had for the two actresses.
  • The idea of Strahm being killed by two walls closing in on him came from director David Hackl's son.
  • Originally, Strahm was supposed to find the deceased victims from Saw II while making his way through the Nerve Gas House.

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