casey 💜’s review published on Letterboxd:
finally made a return to the cinema and i wouldn't have wanted it to be with anything else. i watched this much earlier today and then did a bunch of other stuff so i'm gonna just throw together some disjointed thoughts.
so, this was an interesting one? i walked out of the showing feeling mostly lukewarm but sitting with it a bit since, i'm starting to feel a bit more positive? it comes with a lot of misgivings but this is probably the most stimulating film in the series for me. coming after Jigsaw served bland nothing mixed with the police procedural format seeming like a nightmare scenario had me expecting the worst. thankfully that wasn't what i was in for.
more than anything i give credit for this being the one that just says "fuck it" and leaves us with a heap of trash for the set of victims. Saw has been stepping in it with its attempts at moralizing the actions of Jigsaw, his 69 accomplices, or copycats almost from the beginning so to see this sidestep that a bit was already a big improvement. i feel like the procedural format itself sometimes flies in the face of its surroundings but i'm not sure how the film could've otherwise tackled things seeing as nothing here had been established yet.
this is gonna sound brain wormy and i know they're what makes Saw films Saw but i feel like the whole "there needs to be traps and a Twist" thing is running dry. i'm not sure what i would suggest for an alternative but i definitely think there might be room for subverting expectations in here somewhere yet.
being so much of its own thing ended up being such a blessing. who knew that when these films aren't trying to juggle five tons of baggage while having to worry about its own twists and turns would allow for more breathing room? 🥴🥴🥴
can't believe this is the first time a Saw film hasn't immediately repulsed me/scared me off since Saw VI. it's been 84 years, that's my baby. this might not even hold up under further scrutiny/a rewatch but me having this much to say/think about is already so much better than how the series has been for a bit. 😭