Saw II (2005) - Darren Lynn Bousman

SAW II (73)

The best sequel of the franchise. The only decent Donnie Wahlberg vehicle.

Director

Darren Lynn Bousman

Producer

Gregg Hoffman
Mark Burg
Oren Koules

Writers

Darren Lynn Bousman
Leigh Whannell

Starring

Donnie Wahlberg
Franky G
Glenn Plummer
Beverley Mitchell
Dina Meyer
Emmanuelle Vaugier
Erik Knudsen
Shawnee Smith
Tobin Bell

Studio

Twisted Pictures
Lionsgate Films

Release date

October 28, 2005 (United States)

Country

USA

Budget

$4 Million

Box office

$147.7 Million

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Saw II is the second feature in the bloody Saw franchise. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, Saw II had series creator Leigh Whannell back as a co-writer. It had an increased budget but didn’t really seem to spend it in the right areas. I loved the first feature and was pretty excited for the sequel. I didn’t expect some of the directions that the filmmakers took. But I appreciated the effort.

Jigsaw is has now been apprehended by the police for his heinous crimes. However, this doesn’t stop the games from taking place. Detective Eric Matthews must learn patience while he watches his son try to survive being locked up in a death-trap with seven criminals that he himself had put away. Even in police custody, this psychotic mastermind is still holding all of the cards.

SAW had revitalized the horror movie genre after the dismal nineties. This sequel was put into production after the initial success of the first film. The screenplay went through a number of rewrites. James Wan couldn’t commit to this picture. But Leigh Whannell was able to rewrite and polish the existing screenplay. The budget for the picture had been increased from One Million to Four.

Donnie Wahlberg was not a very good choice for the lead role. But I enjoyed watching him get more and more frustrated with Jigsaw. I also didn’t understand why they cast 7th Heaven alum Beverly Mitchell. She seemed so out of place. I did, however, enjoy the performance of the Detective’s son, Erik Knudsen and Jigsaw himself, Tobin Bell. Shawnee Smith returns and cements herself as a franchise player.

This movie is full of hard-to-watch and horrific death scenes. Some people consider the Saw franchise as gore porn. And although this entry is brutal and visceral. It doesn’t hit as hard as other entries. But blood and guts are a big part of this franchise. Twist endings are also a staple. Saw II has one of my favorite twist endings in the entire franchise.

This was one of the last Saw films that I had remembered enjoying. Certain scenes made me really uneasy and the plot flowed pretty well. I found it entertaining as well as terrifying. The soundtrack is extremely nostalgic. Bands like Puscifer, Marilyn Manson, Buckethead and Queens of the Stone Age rocked my eardrums. I suggest this to anyone that is looking for a good sequel. It might have had flaws but those flaws were few. It’s a decent horror movie and lasting entry in a dying franchise.