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Saw VI is a horror film directed by Kevin Greutert and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. It was the sixth film in the Saw franchise and was released on October 23, 2009.

Plot

Simone and Eddie, two predatory lenders, wake up in a room. Each of them wears a helmet with screws aiming at their temples. A videotape informs them that they have 60 seconds to cut off their flesh and throw it on a scale. Whoever sacrifices more flesh will survive while the other participant will be killed by the mechanical device, as the screws would pierce that person's skull. The overweight Eddie quickly gains the lead by cutting fat from his belly. However, just as the game comes closer to its end, Simone chops off her arm and throws it on the scale, resulting in her survival and Eddie's death.

Shortly afterward, the crime scene is found, and Detective Mark Hoffman is called to the location by Special Agent Dan Erickson, who informs him that the fingerprints of Special Agent Peter Strahm were found on the scale and Eddie's corpse. He also tells Hoffman that Special Agent Lindsey Perez, who supposedly died after being injured in Saw IV, is still alive. Perez had merely faked her death with Erickson's help to keep her safe until the identity of John Kramer's remaining accomplice was uncovered. Following this reveal, Hoffman accepts to work together with them.

Later, Hoffman visits John Kramer's ex-wife, Jill Tuck, at her clinic. Jill hands him five envelopes from the black box, which she received from John's executor, Bernie Feldman, in Saw V. These envelopes contain information about the victims of the next game, which is planned to begin later that night. Hoffman demands to set up the game alone and leaves the clinic with the envelopes.

This game takes place at the abandoned Rowan Zoological Institute and focuses on William Easton, an executive working for the Umbrella Health insurance company. William and his associates are responsible for finding errors in their clients' applications for the coverage of their treatment costs so they can deny the coverage with spurious reasons. In the first test of his game, William wakes up and finds himself trapped in a large, vise-like contraption with a breathing mask on his face. His janitor, Hank, is in the same situation. A video recording of John Kramer, who was once a client of Umbrella, introduces William to his game and informs him about four bombs strapped to his limbs, which will detonate if he does not pass four tests within the next 60 minutes. In his first test, he and Hank have to hold their breath as long as they can. Whenever one of them takes a breath, the vises around their chests close in and eventually crush their upper bodies. As a heavy smoker, Hank cannot hold his breath longer than William and is ultimately killed, while William is released from the trap and goes on to find his next test.

In the next part of his game, William must pick up the ends of two chains connected to two small platforms. His file clerk, Allen, stands on one platform, while his secretary, Addy, stands on the second one. Both of them have a noose made of barbed wire around their neck. To move on, William has to let go of one chain, resulting in the respective person's death, while the other one will survive. Addy is mentioned to have a family history of diabetes, whereas Allen is healthy but has no friends, wife, or kids. Eventually, William decides to save Addy, resulting in Allen's death as his platform falls back and the noose hangs him.

In the zoo's boiler room, William encounters his third test. His company's attorney, Debbie, has 90 seconds to find her way through a maze to retrieve a key and deactivate a device strapped to her body. If she cannot do so, the device will shoot a spear through her head and kill her. However, her path is blocked by hot steam coming from several pipes. William redirects the vapor, enabling Debbie to proceed. Upon reaching the end of the maze, Debbie finds several photos and realizes that the key to her trap is hidden inside William's body. Therefore, she attacks him with a circular saw. However, William fights her off until the timer expires and the trap is activated, resulting in Debbie's death.

When William reaches his fourth test, he finds six of his associates - Aaron, Emily, Gena, Dave, Shelby, and Josh - strapped to a spinning carousel. At regular intervals, the carousel stops, causing one of them to sit in front of a shotgun, which will kill that person if William does not choose to save them. To do this, he has to push two buttons inside a box, which will cause his hand to be impaled by a spike. However, William can only save two of them, while the other four inevitably die. Eventually, he saves Emily and Shelby and then leaves them behind to reach the end of his game.

At the same time as William's game occurs, Erickson and Perez continue their investigation. Upon the examination of Eddie's corpse, Dr. Adam Heffner, the pathologist, who had performed the autopsy on every Jigsaw victim, discovers that the jigsaw piece, which was cut from Eddie's skin, has been removed with a different type of knife than the pieces of most of the other victims. The only victim, whose jigsaw piece was cut out with the same knife, is Seth Baxter, the murderer of Hoffman's sister, Angelina Acomb. As a different knife had been used, the agents suspect that the voice on the instruction tapes of their respective traps might also belong to somebody else.

The tape from Seth Baxter's trap is quickly found and sent to a technical lab to be analyzed. When the agents and Hoffman drive to the lab, shortly before the voice on the tape is restored, Erickson and Perez, who seemingly began to distrust Hoffman, put him under pressure. Thereby, Erickson reveals that examining Strahm's fingerprints at the crime scene of Eddie's death showed that Strahm must have already been dead by the time those fingerprints were left there. Just as the tape is restored and Hoffman's voice becomes recognizable, the latter attacks and kills the agents and the technician, Sachi. Flashbacks reveal that Hoffman had taken Strahm's severed hand after his death in Saw V and had used it to leave the fingerprints at the crime scenes. He does the same thing again and plants Strahm's fingerprints all over the lab before he sets the room on fire and flees the scene.

Meanwhile, Jill got her hands on a copy of a letter, which Hoffman had written to Amanda Young, Jigsaw's other accomplice, who died on the same night as John Kramer in Saw III. She takes the letter and a trap device from her black box and drives to the zoo. There, she places the letter in Hoffman's surveillance room and puts the trap into a locker.

Moments later, Hoffman enters the room to observe the final part of William's game. He is shocked when he finds the letter, which turns out to be a blackmailing letter. Flashbacks show that while she was still a drug addict, Amanda had urged her boyfriend, Cecil Adams, to rob Jill's recovery clinic. This robbery had resulted in Jill's miscarriage and the death of her and John Kramer's unborn son, Gideon Kramer. Somehow, Hoffman had learned about Amanda's involvement and forced her to kill Dr. Lynn Denlon, anticipating that Lynn's husband, Jeff Denlon, would kill Amanda in return. Jill reenters the room and subdues the detective with an electric shock as he reads the letter.

Meanwhile, William reaches the final room of his test just before the timer expires and finds himself between two cages. Trapped in the first one is his sister, Pamela Jenkins, while Tara and Brent Abbott are in the other one. Tara and Brent are the widow and son of Harold Abbott, who succumbed to his heart disease after William had denied the coverage of his treatment costs, which could have saved his life. A TV turns on outside their cage, showing a recording of John Kramer. John tells Tara that she has to decide upon William's fate by using a lever labeled with the words "Live" and "Die." She can either forgive William or sentence him to death. Despite her initial attempt to put the lever on "Die," Tara cannot bring herself to kill him. Brent, however, who is keen on avenging his father, pulls the lever instead. Thereby, a metallic grid swings down from the ceiling and pierces William's body with several needles. Hydrofluoric acid is injected into his body, causing him to die painfully as his body is slowly dissolved from the inside.

At the same time, Jill straps Hoffman to the armrests of his chair and locks the trap device onto his head. This contraption resembles the bear trap previously used to test Amanda Young. As he wakes up, she reveals that there had been a sixth envelope in the box, which contained a photo of him. Thereby, it becomes evident that John Kramer's final request was for Jill to set up Hoffman's test. After watching the end of William's game, Jill leaves the room with the words "Game Over," intending not to give Hoffman any chance to survive. Hoffman, however, uses the trap to smash his hand and free himself from his restraints. Afterward, he pushes the trap's frontal part between two metal bars on the door window to prevent it from bursting open completely. Thereby, he manages to pull his head out of the trap but is heavily injured in the process as his right cheek is brutally torn apart.

After the credits, Amanda goes to the cell where Corbett Denlon, Jeff and Lynn Denlon's daughter, is trapped. The extremely distraught Amanda talks to the little girl and warns her not to trust the one who will save her. As she already knew at this time that Hoffman would free her, it is implied that this warning was an act of revenge by Amanda against him after she read his blackmailing letter.

Cast

Production

Saw VI was the first film in the franchise directed by Kevin Greutert, the editor of all previous installments, who made his directorial debut. Therefore, he was replaced as an editor by Andrew Coutts. As with the preceding films, Mark Burg and Oren Koules returned as producers, while Leigh Whannell and James Wan were listed as executive producers again. Charlie Clouser once more composed the soundtrack, while Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan wrote the script. A week before filming began, Lionsgate informed Greutert that the movie was planned to be post-converted to 3D. However, these plans were later abandoned due to time restraints and because Greutert was not happy with the idea as the film was aesthetically envisioned as a 2D film.

Saw VI was granted a budget of $11 million. The principal photography took place at Toronto's Cinespace Film Studios from March 30, 2009, to May 13, 2009. Several actors from previous movies returned to reprise their roles, including principal and minor characters. Before filming began, a TV reality show called Scream Queens aired in 2008 on VH1, showing ten unknown actresses who competed for a "breakout" role in Saw VI. Eventually, actress Tanedra Howard won the show and got to play Simone in the film. Lionsgate made a public statement, ensuring her a leading role. However, her character turned out to be a minor one.

Release

Saw VI was released on October 22, 2009, in Australia and New Zealand and on October 23, 2009, in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The MPAA gave the movie an "R" rating without much of the content being cut or altered. Most of the film's stars attended the Lionsgate annual "red carpet" event at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released in three editions on January 26, 2010: an R-rated Theatrical Full-Screen Edition, an Unrated Director's Cut Widescreen Edition, and an Unrated Director's Cut Blu-ray Disc as well as a digital download.

Reception

The movie earned $6.9 million on its opening day. It grossed $27,693,292 in the US and Canada and $68,233,629 worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing entry in the series at that time. Despite this, the general critics were better than most reviews of the previous movies. While most negative reviews criticized the story, acting, and brutality, the favorable critics praised the movie's final piece and Kevin Greutert's directing style. Saw VI received a rating of 36% from Rotten Tomatoes, based on 69 reviews, while Metacritic gave it a score of 30 out of 100, based on 12 critics.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Saw VI was released on October 20, 2009. However, the officially released version contained none of Charlie Clouser's original tracks. The lack of a score release prompted the creation of an unofficial online petition. Unfortunately, a few days after the release, the petition was closed with 248 signatures, less than half the goal of 500.

Original Score

1. Saw VI Logos

2. Saw VI Open

3. Flesh

4. Hoffman Coffin

5. Bullpen

6. Harold Story

7. Doctor Team

8. On My Way

9. Scene Depart

10. Fed Perez

11. My Arm

12. Jill Story

13. Autopsy Redux

14. Jill And Hoffman

15. Breath Room

16. Take One

17. Hanging Room

18. Hello, Pamela

19. Jill Drives

20. Steam Room

21. Fingerprints

22. Carousel

23. Voice Lab

24. Severed Hand

25. Zepp Six

Complete Score

1. Saw VI Logos (Mix 1)

2. Saw VI Logos (Mix 2)

3. Saw VI Logos (Mix 3)

4. Saw VI Open (Mix 1)

5. Saw VI Open (Mix 2)

6. Saw VI Open (Mix 3)

7. Flesh (Mix 1)

8. Flesh (Mix 2)

9. Hoffman Coffin (Mix 1)

10. Hoffman Coffin (Mix 2)

11. Hoffman Coffin (Mix 3)

12. Bullpen

13. Harold Story

14. Doctor Team

15. On My Way

16. Scene Arrive

17. Scene Depart

18. Fed Perez

19. My Arm (Mix 1)

20. My Arm (Mix 2)

21. Jill Story

22. Autopsy Redux (Mix 1)

23. Autopsy Redux (Mix 2)

24. Jill And Hoffman (Mix 1)

25. Jill And Hoffman (Mix 2)

26. Breath Room (Mix 1)

27. Breath Room (Mix 2)

28. Take One (Mix 1)

29. Take One (Mix 2)

30. Take One (Mix 3)

31. Hanging Room (Mix 1)

32. Hanging Room (Mix 2)

33. Hanging Room (Mix 3)

34. Hello, Pamela

35. Jill Drives (Mix 1)

36. Jill Drives (Mix 2)

37. Steam Tape

38. Steam Room

39. Fingerprints

40. Carousel

41. Voice Lab

42. Severed Hand (Mix 1)

43. Severed Hand (Mix 2)

44. Zepp Six

45. Zepp Six (Alternate)

Additional Tracks

1. In Ashes They Shall Reap - Hatebreed

2. The Last Goodbye - Lacuna Coil

3. Reckless Abandon - It Dies Today

4. Your Soul Is Mine - Mushroomhead

5. Warpath - Chimaira

6. Code of the Road - Danko Jones

7. Genocide - Suicide Silence

8. Ghost In the Mirror - Memphis May Fire

9. The Countdown Begins - Outbreak

10. Still I Rise - Shadows Fall

11. Dead Again - Type O Negative

12. Dark Horse - Converge

13. Cut Throat - Kitty

14. Never Known - Nitzer Ebb

15. Roman Holiday - Every Time I Die

16. The Sinatra - My My Misfire

17. Lethal Injection - The Flood

18. More Than a Sin - James Brothers

19. We Own the Night - The 69 Eyes

20. Watch Us Burn - Ventana

21. Forgive & Forget - Miss May I

Trivia

  • Originally, Cary Elwes, who played the character of Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the first film, was planned to reprise his role. Elwes, however, was unavailable at that time.
  • Saw VI is the first installment since Saw III, which includes entirely new scenes with Shawnee Smith as Amanda Young.
  • The Reverse Bear Trap used in Hoffman's game is the same trap seen in Saw III, although its design was altered to give it a modern style.
  • In a flashback included in the Director's Cut, Amanda and Cecil drive to Jill's clinic. Initially, the scene was supposed to have a track of Smith & Pyle, Shawnee Smiths's country-rock band, playing over the radio.
  • In the early planning stages, Mark Hoffman was supposed to take on the mafia. However, this was changed as it was deemed unfitting for the franchise.
  • The film was banned in Thailand.
  • Saw VI was the last film of David Armstrong as the series' cinematographer.
  • Initially, George Newbern, who plays Harold Abbott in the movie, auditioned for the role of William Easton.

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