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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.32%
Worth A Look34.65%
Average: 11.02%
Pretty Bad: 14.17%
Total Crap: 22.83%

10 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Saw 2
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by Scott Weinberg

"'Saw 2' praise from a guy who also digs 'Halloween 2,' 'Jaws 2' and 'F13 2'"
4 stars

I admit it freely and with no shame or fear of mockery: I dig the "Saw" movies. Some people have a thing for those boring 'occult thrillers' while others groove on the J-horror remake vibe. Others stick with the classic Universal monsters and, apparently, millions of people love warmed-up, pointless remakes of "House of Wax" and "The Fog." Hell, some people line up for the next Rob Zombie flick. As a lifelong horror bum, I love a little bit of all of it, but I particularly dig both of these new "Saw" stories. For all their obvious attempts at shock value and their structural missteps, both movies accomplish something that very few horror flicks can do anymore: They give me something to think about -- and that something is kinda scary.

I wouldn't go as far as to call Saw 2 a cerebral experience, but there's just something devilishly appealing about horror material that works in your brain and not just in your gut. Throughout both of these rusty little Saw movies, I'm posed with the question of "What would you do if you had to saw your own foot off / dig through a corpse's innards for a key / remand another person to death so that I might survive?" Saw 2 is the horror equivalent of that "Book of Questions" that we all bought and broke out at parties. Much of the movie is also your standard slasher stew mixed with some half-decent police procedural stuff -- but when Saw 2 gets rolling with those gruesome, gritty puzzles, I just think it's the coolest thing this side of Clive Barker's early short stories.

The sequel doesn't slavishly follow up with the precise ending of Part 1, but it's close enough to keep the fans entertained. Suffice to say that sick old Jigsaw is up to his nasty tricks again: Our prologue delivers a sequence in which one unfortunate guy gets his head squashed inside of a metallic venus-fly-trap mask. In this sequence, some see pointlessly ugly desperation and gore for gore's sake. I see a kinetic and enjoyably intense inner struggle that ends with a crimson thwack.

In come the police, and this time they have very little trouble apprehending the creative kook. Mason (Donnie Wahlberg) and Kerry (Dina Meyer) are on the case; he's got a short temper and an estranged son ... she's got a lot of exposition to unload and a pretty face. So over the course of one extended interrogation, Jigsaw reveals that not only does he have eight people trapped inside a house filled with poison gas and horrible deathtraps, but also that we can all watch the sinful spectacle via live video!

Imagine Mason's concern when he realizes that his teenage son is in among the poisoned captives.

And back and forth we go. For a little while we stick with Mason and Jigsaw as they throw dialogue at each other, most of which has to do with threats of violence or ruminations on the nature of human mortality. Some of this material gets a bit redundant as the running time wears on, but Saw 2 moves at such a brisk clip that you'll just begin to notice the strain as the Act III insanity starts to kick in.

When we're not dealing with Mason and Jiggy, we're trapped in the death-house with eight of the most desperate whiners you ever will meet. True that there's a good reason for this crew's collective crankiness, but aside from Mason's son Daniel (Eric Knudsen) and veteran Saw-avoider Amanda (Shawnee Smith) there's not much offered on the character menu. The soon-to-be corpse crewmembers are given perhaps one solid personality trait apiece, usually just prior to their truly icky demise.

Perhaps it's just the dormant Nine Inch Nails freak in me that loves the Saw flicks' cold and gruesome exteriors ... but mainly I'm just sick to death of the ridiculously lame and consistently worthless deluge of PG-13 "horror" movies that offer nothing but formulaic garbage, moronic dialogue, and photogenic TV actors way out of their element. Maybe it's just that I've been so starved for horror flicks that don't skimp on the grand guignol nastiness that I enjoy so much that I'm left over-praising movies like Saw, May, Cabin Fever, High Tension, and, yes, Saw 2. But I don't think I'm overcompensating when I say that Saw 2 is one of the better horror movies I've seen this year -- which is a compliment to the sequel-makers, but is mainly an indictment of the current state of the horror genre in general.

This might have been a bang-out-the-screenplay & get it in theaters quick sort of sequel (and it so totally was), but there seems to be a real commitment here to pleasing the hardcore horror fans. Saw 2 is certainly not a flawless effort, but it's good, gory entertainment all the same, and just because I appreciate the effort, Saw 2 gets an extra half-star.

I've read and respected several unflattering opinions on both "Saw" movies, and I can readily acknowledge the films' flaws, but they absolutely work for me, warts and all, and I've absolutely no problem recommending this sequel to those who adored the first entry, or anyone else just looking for a cold blast of unfiltered horror nastiness. Plus the fact that this sequel doesn't simply "suck" is reason enough for celebration. That it's actually pretty damn entertaining is, to be honest, only one of the most enjoyable shocks.

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originally posted: 10/28/05 15:57:14
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell the best in the series rough&raw 4 stars
8/25/16 Matt Gross but effective. 3 stars
4/05/16 Charles Tatum Wasn't much interested in the series after this sleepy sequel 3 stars
3/03/10 Stanley Thai I was expecting much more than just deaths and more people and twists. 2 stars
2/17/09 action movie fan a good sequel=interesting scary predicament 4 stars
10/28/08 Sugarfoot I liked this entry simply because I got to know Jigsaw and his victims. 4 stars
7/23/08 David V Decent enough, but it's too bad Jigsaw became a grandfather figure. 3 stars
10/25/07 lolz AAAAHH SCARY BUT FUNNY O.o 4 stars
3/21/07 Brandi Pranger awsome to watch 5 stars
3/18/07 Justin P Hated it, was the worst movie ever until Saw 3 came out 1 stars
12/08/06 Angel Chavez Better than the first! 5 stars
11/15/06 Drew Galletti Best one in the series 4 stars
11/09/06 Dark Enchantress i love the saw movies alot! This one was could of been better, but ok 5 stars
11/08/06 Divin' in Needles Two Saws Up 4 stars
11/07/06 Drew Best one in the trilogy 5 stars
11/03/06 David Pollastrini good gore. Beverly mitchel is hot! 5 stars
11/02/06 Patsyc I liked it. It was very suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. 5 stars
10/30/06 Bitchflaps Really poor 1 stars
10/30/06 Anthony Feor It has bloody deaths, What else ya got? 2 stars
10/28/06 Teanna Wow this movie was awesome and took a surprising turn at the end. WAY BETTER THAN THE FIRST 5 stars
8/17/06 Stanley Thai It's a bad movie that took a HUGE drop from the original. 2 stars
8/02/06 dan no way near as good as saw 1 3 stars
7/24/06 Samuel Pretty F'n awesome...I still thought the origional was better, but this is a fine sequel... 4 stars
6/26/06 raul valdez Jr as good as the first but not better 5 stars
6/05/06 katie A really great movie and just a little bit better than the first one. 5 stars
4/26/06 Logan Horberg This movie kicked so much ass! 5 stars
4/24/06 curtis it was pretty good i liked it....i like the 1st one too 4 stars
4/04/06 Mike Amazing,unpredictable,couldn't have guessed the ending if I tried,cant wait for saw 3 5 stars
3/18/06 Indrid Cold Less coherent and interesting than the original, but still decent Hollywood horror. 3 stars
2/27/06 Danny Not nearly as suspensful as the first one, but still pretty good for a horror film. 4 stars
2/20/06 B "Stylish" sadism = cool!!! So do pseudo-philosophical one-liners and absurd plot twists!!! 1 stars
2/19/06 Elisabeth Eagle Was a great movie in my opinion 5 stars
2/16/06 Rebecca D. Brothers It was an awesome movie with plenty of gore and suspense! Way better than the 1st. 5 stars
1/04/06 alice nothing new 3 stars
1/01/06 metalhead I didn't see the first one so I can't compare them, but i thought it was ok. 4 stars
12/13/05 Mike First was OK B-Movie, this one makes Cube Zero look like Oscar winning material. 1 stars
11/25/05 CONSTANTINE ONCE AGAIN... AWESOME, may've had a few plot, but makes up for it in the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Stay away. Stay very far away. I wouldn't touch this film again with a 10 ft pole. 1 stars
11/21/05 Stewart Amen, Jason Whyte. This movie only exists to promote pornographic violence. Evil garbage! 1 stars
11/20/05 Evil Wolfie Haha. She fell into a pit full of syringes. 4 stars
11/20/05 Bestit I liked the first (good, not great), but this one was just total crap. 1 stars
11/20/05 Moctezuma I thought it was great 5 stars
11/18/05 malcolm repulsive but fun. actually reminded me more of 'Cube' than 1st 'Saw.' 3 stars
11/18/05 Jabber Crappy, uninspired sequel. Lame-as-hell. 1 stars
11/17/05 CONSTANTINE AWESOME, Enjoyable as the 1st! Shawnee Smith was HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/16/05 Littlepurch Not as gd as the first but stil loved it.Clever ending, as ever, and Jigsaw was v menacing. 4 stars
11/16/05 Adrian Enough for fans of the first to be happy, but it doesn't live up to Saws novelty factor. 4 stars
11/15/05 JC This movie is not a fucking horror movie!!!! It's more like a suspense. 5 stars
11/13/05 cypress loved it, i would have preferred a different ending, but great movie! 5 stars
11/13/05 kanita ruined the 1st one like most sequels...vry stupid twist looked like they just bsed the end 2 stars
11/11/05 Dan Smith As good as the first, just in a spine tingling different way. 5 stars
11/06/05 blowsky how can anyone like this crap, looks like 7th graders wrote it 1 stars
11/06/05 jeff not as good as first. 3 stars
11/05/05 ew a good film 4 stars
11/04/05 Meryl I love you, screenwriters of the SAW series. I love you. 5 stars
11/04/05 Agent Sands Not nearly as scary or well-written as the original. But it is VERY GORY, which is good. 4 stars
11/04/05 Lowell Sucked big, fat, hairy donkey nuts!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/02/05 Roy Smith A minor drop from the orginal not a plummet like Ring 2. 4 stars
11/02/05 me a great film 4 stars
11/01/05 Skellington I like this the first time I saw it...when it was called CUBE!!! 2 stars
11/01/05 jcjs funny but no one was laughing, stupider than one, Tobin neat, great for 3rd graders 4 stars
10/30/05 bff a great film 4 stars
10/30/05 Jake Weinberg has no taste. Saw II is "worth a look"? 2 stars
10/29/05 Jacobee SAW TWO IS OFF DA CHAIN!!! 5 stars
10/29/05 Crumbcake brianorndorf gave ELIZABETHTOWN five stars...that says it all. 5 stars
10/29/05 Darren Shea A worthy sequel. It trades much of the stark creepiness of Saw for a more complex story 4 stars
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  28-Oct-2005 (R)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006



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