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Given the haste in which this sequel followed the original, hopes may not have been particularly high for Saw 2. Yet the film itself proves to be a welcome surprise. For while it has moments where it needlessly attempts to out-gore the original, and while it’s not as clever, there’s plenty here to lift it above the status of lazy cash-in.
The premise, once again, contrives to put a series of apparent strangers into one location, surrounded by various traps and clues to get out. That location, a dilapidated house in this instance, is locked up, and slowly filling with nerve gas. In short, thanks to the work of deadly serial killer Jigsaw, the collection of people inside have two hours to live. This time though, their plight is being watched remotely via a video link by police officers, specifically Detective Eric Matthews, who quickly discovers his son is one of those caught in Jigsaw’s deadly trap.
With a tempered running time that allows little time for waste, where Saw 2 scores is in simply getting on with the job. It’s a slightly bumpier ride than first time round, but again, it’s hard not to get drawn into the fun.
One notable word of warning though: Saw liked its gore, and so does this sequel. No doubt the imminent third entry in the series will be fond of it too. Still, if you’re wary of the need for a strong stomach, there’s a lot to enjoy in this surprisingly strong second instalment.--Simon Brew
- Feature Length Director and Actor Commentary - Jigsaw’s Game - The Head Trap - The Needle Pit - The Hand Trap - The Furnace - Bit’s & Pieces - Storyboard Comparisons