Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written by:Darren Lynn Bousman, Leigh Whannell
Starring: Donnie Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell,  Franky G, Dina Meyer, Glenn Plummer
Released: November 17, 2005
Grade: B-

This would have to be one of the quickest follow-up sequels ever made.  Saw was released in Australia less than a year ago (December 2, 2004) and it’s been a profitable twelve months for Australian creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan.  The original film cost close to $1m and its total worldwide box-office takings were roughly $100m.  If I were in their shoes, I’d be churning out Saw 3, Saw 4 and Saw 5 as quickly as I could my pay cheque.  They’re on winning formula and they should be milking it for all its worth.

Given that it was no so long ago, you may remember the premise.  There is a serial killer named Jigsaw who kidnaps his victims and puts them in a life or situation.  If they want to live, they will have to pass a test (which often involves mutilation).  There is a method behind Jigsaw’s madness.  He selects those people who have no appreciation for their own life.  By putting them through a horrifying ordeal, he hopes to change their perceptions.

In Saw 2, police detective Eric Matthews (Whalberg) comes face-to-face with the elusive Jigsaw.  He cannot arrest him however.  Jigsaw has kidnapped his son, Daniel, and will only let him live if Eric is prepared to play another of Jigsaw’s games.

Meanwhile, Daniel awakes to find himself locked in a house with five people he has never met.  They are given a message on an audio tape which tells them they have been exposed to a deadly nerve agent.  The only way to they can survive is to find an antidote and several have been hidden around the house.  The clock is ticking however.  They have less than two hours to solve the riddles of the house or it will be too late.

Just like the original, Saw 2 is extremely violent and gruesome.  It’s on a par with Wolf Creek but don’t ask me why Wolf Creek was rated R and yet Saw 2 escapes with a mere MA rating.  No matter where you see it, there’ll be some shocked squeals from the audience.  This is part of its appeal though – few horror films go this far and lovers of the genre will be more than satisfied.

The first film was something different, something fresh.  Now, I’m watching a film which reminds me too much of the original.  It’s like a remake – the same idea with just a few new (and not so new) ways of killing people.  The level of suspense isn’t the same.  In its defence, I’ll state under oath that the ending of Saw 2 is much better.

Now where did I put that Saw 3 script…