Last year they updated the series tag line from "There will be blood" to "If it's Halloween, it must be Saw." They continue the use of the new line this year and after six years the franchise is turning into an institution. Part seven has already been announced (in 3D, no less) and I believe part eight is part of that deal. One has to wonder when the minds behind this long-running series will begin to run out of ideas. I thought it was already beginning to happen, but this new entry has renewed my interest somewhat. I think the problem now is running out of characters. The next film will likely bring a new infusion of blood. Could Saw VI lead to a reinvention of the franchise? Too soon to tell. Let us just stick to what we actually have before speculating further on the future.
I sort of liked last year's Saw outing. It was not quite as bloody as the series has been, but I appreciated the fact they cut back on the over-plotting. If there is one thing I don't like about this series is the way everything has to have a meaning, how everything is tied into everything else, and how the films feel about to collapse under the weight of the plot. Not to mention how the characters never really develop into anything of interest.
Saw VI picks up shortly after the end of Saw V (of course). Agent Strahm has just met his demise having failed his test. Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) has escaped and is preparing his next game as Jigsaw's replacement, plus continuing the cleanup of loose ends.
The formula for this series is pretty much set in stone. We always get a one-off trap to open the film with characters we don't really care about. This is all about getting off on the right foot, a little blood to satisfy the crowd right off the bat. From there we are reintroduced to whatever characters are left from the prior film. We finally move into the primary, multi-person trap that will be the focus for the bulk of the run time. This is, of course, accompanied by the story of those investigating the Jigsaw case and whatever lengths our games master must go to to keep his identity a secret and the game running as scheduled.